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Entered according to act of Congress in the year 1894, by the COIN Publish - 
NG Company in the office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington, D. C. . 





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JTo Those = 

Trying to locate the seat of 
the disease that threatens the 
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At the Christian era the metallic money of the Roman empire 
amounted to |i,8oo, 000,000. By the end of the fifteenth century 
it had shrunk to {200,000,000. (Dr. Adam Smith informs us that 
in 1455 the price of wheat in England was two pence per bushel.) 
Population dwindled, and commerce, arts, wealth and freedom all 
disappeared. The people were reduced by poverty and misery to 
the most degraded conditions of serfdom and slavery. The disin- 
tegration of society was almost complete. History records no such 
disastrous transition as that from the Roman empire to the dark 
ages. The discovery of the New World by Columbus, restored the 
volume of precious metals, brought with it rising prices, enabled 
society to reunite its shattered links, shake ofiF the shackles of 
feudalism, and to relight and uplift the almost extinguished torch 
of civilization. — Report U, S. Monetary Commission 0/2878, 



The New World in 1893 celebrated the discovery of America by 
Columbus, during a period of depression brought about by the 
destruction by law of one-half the precious metals as primary 
money. So blighting and destructive is the effect, the people are 
being reduced to poverty and misery; the conditions of life are so 
hard that individual selfishness is the only thing consistent with 
the instinct of self-preservation; all public spirit, all generous 
emotions, all the noble aspirations of man, are shriveling up and 
disappearing as the volume of primary money shrinks and as 
prices fall. Honest labor seeks employment it cannot find, and 
hungry and shelterless, our unemployed are seen daily around the 
Columbus statue, witho;^ituj^li::ui£^4^ despair. 

r^>' Of THl >r^ 




So much uncertainty prevailing about the many facts 
connected with the monetary question, very few are able 
to intelligently understand the subject. 

Hard times are with us ; the country is distracted ; 
very few things are marketable at a price above the cost 
of production ; tens of thousands are out of employment ; 
the jails, penitentiaries, workhouses and insane asylums 
are full ; the gold reserve at Washington is sinking ; the 
government is running at a loss with a deficit in every 
department ; a huge debt hangs like an appalling cloud 
over the country ; taxes have assumed the importance 
of a mortgage, and 50 per cent of the public revenues 
are likely to go delinquent ; hungered and half-starved 
men are banding into armies and marching toward 
Washington ; the cry of distress is heard on every hand ; 
business is paralyzed ; commerce is at a standstill ; riots 
and strikes prevail throughout the land ; schemes to 
remedy our ills when put into execution are smashed 
like box-cars in a railroad wreck, and Wall street looks 
in vain for an excuse to account for the failure of pros- 
perity to return since the repeal of the silver purchase 

It is a time for wisdom and sound sense to take the 
helm, and Coin, a young financier living in Chicago, 
acting upon such a suggestion, established a school of 

4 coin's financiai. school. 

finance to instruct the youths of the nation, with a view 
to their having a clear understanding of what has been 
considered an abstruse subject ; to lead them out of the 
labyrinth of falsehoods, heresies and isms that distract 
the country. 

The First Day. 


The school opened on the yth day of May, 1894. 
There was a good attendance, and the large hall 
selected in the Art Institute was comfortably full. Sons 


of merchants and bankers, in fact all classes of business, 
were well represented. Journalists, however, predomi- 
nated. Coin stepped on to the platform, looking the 
smooth little financier that he is, and said : 

"I am pleased to see such a large attendance. It 
indicates a desire to learn and master a subject that has 
baffied your fathers. The reins of the government will 
soon be placed in your hands, and its future will be 
molded by your honesty and intelligence. 

" I ask you to accept nothing from me that does not 
stand the analysis of reason ; that you will freely ask 
questions and pass criticisms, and if there is any one 
present who believes that all who differ from him are 
lunatics and fools, he is requested to vacate his seat and 
leave the room." 

The son of Editor Scott, of the Chicago Herald, here 
arose and walked out. Coin paused a moment, and 
then continued: *'My object will be to teach you the 
A, B, C of the questions about money that are now a 
matter of every-day conversation. 


"In money there must be a unit. In arithmetic, as 
you are aware, you are taught what a unit is. Thus, I 
make here on the blackboard the figure 1. That, in 
arithmetic, is a unit. All countings are sums or multi- 
ples of that unit. A unit, therefore, in mathematics, was 
a necessity as a basis to start from. In making money 
it was equally as necessary to establish a unit. The 
constitution gave the power to Congress to * coin money 
and regulate the value thereof. ' Congress adopted silver 
and gold as money. It then proceeded to fix the unit. 

**That is, it then fixed what should constitute 
one dollar, the same thing that the mathematician did 

6 coin's financial school. 

when he fixed one figure from which all others should 
be counted. Congress fixed the monetary unit to consist 
of 371/^ grains of pure silver, and provided for a certain 


amount of alloy (baser metals) to be mixed with it to 
give it greater hardness and durability. This was in 
1792, in the days of Washington and Jefi'erson and our 
revolutionary forefathers, who had a hatred of England, 

coin's financial school. 7 

and an intimate knowledge of her designs on this 

*'They had fought eight long years for their inde- 
pendence from British domination in this country, and 
when they had seen the last red-coat leave our shores, 
they settled down to establish a permanent government, 
and among the first things they did was to make 371)^ 
grains of silver the unit of values. That much silver 
was to constitute a dollar. And each dollar was a unit. 
They then provided for all other money to be counted 
from this unit of a silver dollar. Hence, dimes, quar- 
ters and half-dollars were exact fractional parts of the 
dollar so fixed. 

* * Gold was made money, but its value was counted 
from these silver units or dollars. The ratio between 
silver and gold was fixed at 1 5 to i , and afterward at 1 6 
to I . So that in making gold coins their relative weight 
was regulated by this ratio. 

*' This continued to be the law up to 1873. During 
that long period, the unit of values was never changed 
and always contained 371}^ grains of pure silver. 
While that was the law it was impossible for any one to 
say that the silver in a silver dollar was only worth 47 
cents, or any other number of cents less than 100 cents, 
or a dollar. For it was itself the unit of values. While 
that was the law it would have been as absurd to say 
that the silver in a silver dollar was only worth 47 cents, 
as it would be to say that this figure 1 which I have 
on the blackboard is only forty-seven one-hundredths 
of one. 

** When the ratio was changed from 15 to i to 16 to 
I the silver dollar or unit was left the same size and the 
gold dollar was made smaller. The latter was changed 
from 24.7 grains to 23.2 grains pure gold, thus making 

8 coin's financiaIv school. 

it smaller. This occurred in 1834. ^^^ silver dollar 
still remained the unit and continued so until 1873. 

*' Both were legal tender in the payment of all debts, 
and the mints were open to the coinage of all that 
came. So that up to 1873, we were on what was known 
as a bimetallic basis, but what was in fact a silver basis, 
with gold as a companion metal enjoying the same 
privileges as silver, except that silver fixed the unit, 
and the value of gold was regulated by it. This was 

''Our forefathers showed much wisdom in selecting 
silver, of the two metals^ out of which to make the unit. 
Much depended on this decision. For the one selected 
to represent the unit would thereafter be unchangeable 
in value. That is, the metal in it could never be worth 
less than a dollar, for it would be the unit of value 
itself The demand for silver in the arts or for money by 
other nations might make the quantity of silver in a sil- 
ver dollar sell for more than a dollar, but it could never 
be worth less than a dollar. Less than itself. 

*'In considering which of these two metals they 
would thus favor by making it the unit, they were led to 
adopt silver because it was the most reliable. It was the 
most favored as money by the people. It was scattered 
among all the people. Men having a design to injure 
business by making money scarce, could not so easily get 
hold of all the silver and hide it away, as they could 
gold. This was the principal reason that led them to 
the conclusion to select silver, the more stable of the 
two metals, upon which to fix the unit. It was so much 
handled by the people and preferred by them, that it was 
called the people's money. 

*' Gold was considered the money of the rich. It was 
owned principally by that class of people, and the poor 


COIN'S FINANCIAI. '^^^C^V^f pinTt!lfi!^^ 

people seldom handled it, and the very poor people sel- 
dom ever saw any of it." 


Here young Medill, of the Chicago Tribune^ held up 
his hand, which indicated that he had something to say 
or wished to ask a question. Coin paused and asked 
him what he wanted. 

He arose in his seat and said that his father claimed 
that we had been on a gold basis ever since 1837, 
that prior to 1873 there never had been but eight mil- 
lion dollars of silver coined. Here young Wilson, of the 
Farm, Field arid Fij^eside, said he wanted to ask, who 
owns the Chicago Tribune f 

Coin tapped the little bell on the table to restore 
order, and ruled the last question out, as there was one 
already before the house by Mr. Medill. 

** Prior to 1873," said Coin, '' there were one hundred 
and five millions of silver coined by the United States 
and eight million of this was in silver dollars. When 
your father said that 'only eight million dollars in silver' 
had been coined, he meant to say that ' only eight mil- 
lion silver dollars had been coined.' He also neglected 
to say — that is — he forgot to state, that ninety-seven 
millions had been coined into dimes, quarters and halves. 

"About one hundred millions of foreign silver had 
found its way into this country prior to i860. It was 
principally Spanish, Mexican and Canadian coin. It 
had all been made legal tender in the United States by 
act of Congress. We needed more silver than we had, 
and Congress passed laws making all foreign silver coins 
legal tender in this country. I will read you one of these 
laws — they are scattered all through the statutes prior to 
1873." Here Coin picked up a copy of the laws of the 

ro coin's financiai, school. 

United States relating to loans and the currency, coinage 
and banking, published at Washington. He said : ** A 
copy could be obtained by any one on writing to the 
Treasury Department. ' ' 

He then read from page 240, as follows : 

" And be it further enacted, That from and after the passage ot 
this act, the following foreign silver coins shall pass current as 
money within the United States, and be receivable by tale, for the 
payment of all debts and demands, at the rates following, that is 
to say : the Spanish pillar dollars, and the dollars of Mexico, Peru 
and Bolivia, etc. * * * * ^ 

'' On account of the scarcity of silver, both Jefferson 
and Jackson recommended that dimes, quarters and 
halves would serve the people better than dollars, until 
more silver bullion could be obtained. This was the 
reason why only about eight million of the one hundred 
and five million of silver were coined into dollars. 

*'- During this struggle to get more silver,'* continued 
Coin, *' France made a bid for it by establishing a ratio 
of 15)^ to I, and as our ratio was 16 to i, this made silver 
in France worth $1.03^ when exchanged for gold, and as 
gold would answer the same purpose as silver for money, 
it was found that our silver was leaving us. So Congress 
in 1853, had our fractional silver coins made of light 
weight to prevent their being exported. 

** So that we had prior to 1873 one hundred and five 
millions of silver coined by us, and about one hundred 
million of foreign silver coin, or about two hundred and 
five million dollars in silver in the United States, and 
were doing all we could to get more and to hold on to 
what we had. Thus silver and gold were the measure of 
values. It should be remembered that no silver or gold 
was in circulation between i860 and 1873. Two hundred 
and five millions were in circulation before 1861." 

coin's financial SCHOOt. II 

Then looking at young Medill, Coin asked him if he 
had answered his question. The young journalist 
turned red in the face and hung his head, while young 
Wilson muttered something about Englishmen owning 
the Tribmie. 


Young Scott was seen entering the room ; he was 
carrying in his hand a book. He stopped and ad- 
dressed Coin, sayfng that he wished to apologize for 
his conduct, and was now here to stay if permitted to 
do so. 

Coin told him that so long as he accorded to others 
the right to entertain views different from his, his name 
would be kept on the roll as a student at the ' ' Financial 

Thereupon Mr. Scott said: *' I am informed that 
you have stated that silver was the unit of value prior 
to 1873 J t^^t this unit was composed of 371^ grains of 
pure silver or 412 grains of standard silver. Now I want 
to know if it is not a fact that both gold and silver at 
that time were each the unit in its own measurement ? 
And that we had a dpuble measurement of values, which 
was liable to separate and part company at any time ? 
And when the metals did separate, was not the effect 
like having two yard-sticks of different lengths ? I 
wish to call your attention to the statute on page 213 of 
the book you read from where it says an eagle or ten- 
dollar gold piece is ten units. Does not this indicate 
positively that a gold unit was also provided for?" 

And with this he sat down looking as proud as a 
cannoneer who has just fired a shot that has had deadly 
effect in the enemy's ranks. 

Coin had nodded when the proposition of the unit 


was stated ; looked amused at the double unit proposi- 
tion advanced, and now replied : " The law I referred to 
this morning was passed April 2, 1792, and remained 
the law till 1873. You will find it in my valuable Hand- 
book. I now read it from the United States Statutes : 

^^ Dollars oy units, each to be of the value of a Spanish milled 
dollar as the same is now current, and to contain three hundred 
and seventy-one grains and four-sixteenth parts of a grain of pure, 
or four hundred and sixteen grains of standard silver. 

"If you omit the words referring to the Spanish 
milled dollar, it will then read : ' Dollars o? units, each 
to contain sy I graifis arid ^-16 parts of a grain of pure 
silver, ' 

'* This is the statute that fixed the unit and is the 
only statute on the subject till we come to 1873. 

' ' Now, what you referred to is this. It is in section 
9, and reads as follows : 

^''Eagles — each to be of the value of ten dollars or units." 

''And on the ratio of 15 to i, fixed in the same act, 
this made an eagle contain 247 grains of pure gold, or 
270 grains of standard gold. You will observe that the 
law does not say, as you stated, that an 'Eagle or ten- 
dollar gold piece is ten units.' It says : 'Of the value of 
ten dollars or units' In other words, a ten-dollar gold 
piece shall be of the value of ten silver dollars. 

"Or to state it in another way: As the law fixed 
371^ grains of pure silver as a unit, the quantity of 
gold in a gold dollar would be regulated by the ratio 
fixed from time to time. 

"Now," addressing Mr. Scott, " if I have not read 
your law right, I want you to say so. This is the place 
to settle all questions of fact. Your law does not say a 
gold piece has so many units in it, but instead of that, it 

coin's financiaIv school. 


does say, the gold pieces are to be of the value of so many 

The young journalist from Washington street had 
not seen the distinction, and had jumped at conclusions. 


When he did see the hole he was in, he leaned over to 
Evans of the Economist, who sat next to him, and asked 
him to help him out. Evans thought he had mastered 
the subject of political economy several years ago, and 
had named his paper ' * The Economist. ' ' He found now, 

14 coin's FI>rANCIAt SCHOOt. 

that he had not gone very deep into the subject. His 
text-books had been the Tribune, Herald, Record and 
Journal, He did not know that they, too, were getting 
their information in about the same way. 

So now when his friend Scott was in trouble, he 
greatly sympathized with him. But he could not help 
him, and was seen to shake his head. Scott sat silently 
in his seat. 

**You will observe," continued Coin, ''that the law 
in fixing a dollar or unit does not say, as in the case of 
gold, that it shall be of the value of 37 1 ^ grains of silver, 
but that the dollar or unit was silver and its quantity 
should be 371/^^ grains. The amount of alloy added to 
this quantity of pure silver was afterward changed, but 
this amount of pure silver, 371^ grains, has always 
remained the same and was the unit of values until 

A bright looking kid was now seen standing on a 
chair in the back part of the room holding up his hand 
and cracking his finger and thumb. He was asked 
what he wanted and said : 

*' I want to know what is meant by standard silver ? '' 
Coin then explained that this meant with the govern- 
ment a standard rule for mixing alloy with silver and 
gold. And when so mixed is called standard silver or 
standard gold. Before it is mixed with the alloy it is 
called pure silver or pure gold. The standard of both 
gold and silver is such that by 1,000 parts by weight, 
900 shall be of pure metal, and 100 of alloy. The alloy 
of silver coins is copper. In gold coins it is copper and 
silver, but the silver shall in no case exceed one-tenth of 
the whole alloy. Standard silver and standard gold is 
the metal when mixed with its alloy. , 

"I now think we understand," said Coin, "what 



the unit of value was prior to 1873. We had the silver 
dollar as the unit. And we had both gold and silver as 
money walking arm in arm into the United States mints. 



'* We now come to the act of 1873," continued Coin. 
*' On February 12, 1873, Congress passed an act pur- 
porting to be a revision of the coinage J^a^&._^.-.Xhis law 

y5> Of THl^^^ 


l6 coin's financial SCHOOt. 

covers 15 pages of our statutes. It repealed the unit 
clause in the law of 1792, and in its place substituted a 
law in the following language : 

" That the gold coins of the United States shall be a one-dollar 
piece which at the standard weight of twenty-five and eight-tenths 
grains shall be the u?tU of vahie. 

* ' It then deprived silver of its right to unrestricted 
free coinage, and destroyed it as legal tender money in 
the payment of debts, except to the amount of five 
dollars. / ^ < 

** At that time we were all using paper money. No 
one was handling silver and gold coins. It was when 
specie payments were about to be resumed that the coun- 
try appeared to realize what had been done. The news- 
papers on the morning of February 13, 1873, and at no 
time in the vicinity of that period, had any account of 
the change. General Grant, who was President of the 
United States at that time, said afterwards, that he had 
no idea of it, and would not have signed the bill if he 
had known that it demonetized silver. 

*'In the language of Senator Daniel of Virginia, it 
seems to have gone through Congress ' like the silent 
tread of a cat.' 

**An army of a half million of men invading our 
shores, the warships of the world bombarding our coasts, 
could not have made us surrender the money of the peo- 
ple and substitute in its place the money of the rich. A 
few words embraced in fifteen pages of statutes put 
through Congress in the rush of bills did it. The pen 
was mightier than the sw^ord. 

** But we are not here to deal with sentiment. We 
are here to learn facts. Plain, blunt facts. 

'*The law of 1873 inade gold the tmit of values. 
And that is the law to-day. When silver was the unit 

coin's PINANCIAt SCttOOt. t^ 

of value, gold enjoyed yV^^ coinage, and was legal tender 
in the payment of all debts. Now things have changed. 
Gold is the unit and silver does not enjoy free coinage. 


It is refused at the mints. We might get along with 
gold as the unit, if silver enjoyed the same right gold 
did prior to 1873. But that right is now denied to sil- 
ver. When silver was the unit, the unlimited demand 

1 8 coin's F^INANCIAI, SCHOOt. 

for gold to coin into money, made the demand as great 
as the supply, and this held up the value of gold bullion." 

Here Victor F. I^awson, Jr., of the Chicago Even- 
ing News, interrupted the little j&nancier with the state- 
ment that his paper, the News, had stated time and 
again that silver had become so plentiful it had ceased 
to be a precious metal. And that this statement be- 
lieved by him to be a fact had more to do with his prej- 
udice to silver than anything else. And he would like 
to know if that was not a fact ? 

'' There is no truth in the statement," replied Coin. 
** On page 21 of my Handbook you will find a table on 
this subject, compiled by Mulhall, the London statisti- 
cian. It gives the quantity of gold and silver in the' 
world both coined and uncoined at six periods — at the 
years 1600, 1700, 1800, 1848, 1880, and 1890. It shows 
that in 1600 there were 27 tons of silver to one ton of 
gold. In 1700, 34 tons of silver to one ton of gold. In 
1800, 32 tons of silver to one ton of gold. In 1848, 31 
tons of silver to one ton of gold. In 1880, 18 tons of sil- 
ver to one ton of gold. In 1890, 18 tons of silver to one 
ton of gold. 

''The United States is producing more silver than it 
ever did, or was until recently. But the balance of the 
world is producing much less. They are fixing the price 
on our silver and taking it away from us, at their price. 
The report of the Director of the Mint, published the 
other day, shows the world's production of precious 
metals last year was gold, $167,917,337 ; silver, $143,- 
096,239. So you see the facts are just the opposite of 
what you had supposed. Instead of becoming more plen- 
tiful, it is less plentiful. 

** Any one can get the official statistics by writing to 
the treasurer at Washington, and asking for his official 

coin's financial school. 


book of statistics. Also write to the Director of the 
Mint and ask him for his report. If you get no answer 
write to your Congressman. These books are furnished 
free and you will get them. 



*' At the time the United States demonetized silver 
in February, 1873, silver as measured in gold was 
worth $1.02. The argument of depreciated silver could 
not then be made. Not one of the arguments that are 
now made against silver was then possible. They are 
all the bastard children of the crime of 1873. 

20 coin's financial school. 

** It was demonetized secretly, and since then a pow- 
erful money trust has used deception and misrepresenta- 
tions that have led tens of thousands of honest minds 

William Henry Smith, Jr., of the Associated Press, 
wanted to know if the size of the gold dollar was ever 
changed more than the one time mentioned by Coin, 
viz., in 1834. 

''Yes," said Coin. **In 1837 it was changed from 
23.2 to 23.22. This change of jf^ths was for conven- 
ience in calculation, but the change was made in the 
gold coin — never in the silver dollar (the unit^ till 1873. 

' (Of TKS ^ , 

The Second Day. 

When the news went out in Chicago at the end of 
the first day, that Coin, the little financier, had answered 
satisfactorily all questions that had been asked him, the 
old gold men hooted at it, and said that no one but boys 
were there to confront him. 

The morning papers except The Times and Record 
published a garbled account of what had actually taken 
place. The Tribune and Herald were editorially loaded 
with abuse. 

The editor-in chief of The Tribune was a Mr. Van 
Benthuysen. He had been told by the owners of that 
paper to write an argument in favor of the gold stand- 
ard. In an editorial of thirty lines he called bimetallists 
*' fraudulent free silverites," *' blatant orators,'* ** blath- 
erskites," ''thieves," ''swindlers," "repudiators," "dis- 
honest, trickey, brazen charlatans," "malignant luna- 
tics," repeating some of these choice epithets several 

The next day one of the proprietors called his atten- 
tion to this editorial and asked him why he did'nt write 
an argument. His reply was: "Argument! that's 
the only argument there is ! " 

On the morning of the second day when Coin arrived 
at the Art Institute, he found the hall full of people, 
most of them middle-aged and old men. 



He was asked to throw the ' * school ' ' open to persons 
of all ages. This was a move to put a quietus on the 
success of the lectures. Knotty questions would be 
hurled at him — perplexing queries and abstruse proposi- 


tions. They would harass him, worry him, and tangle 
him, laugh at his dilemma and then say : * ' We told you 
so.'' This was the programme. 
Coin consented. 


coin's FINANCIAi^«»P»i^Qi|^^ 

All the seats were filled and many persons were 
standing. Perfect order prevailed as Coin began his 


''The ratio between silver and gold/' said Coin, 
" prior to 1873, in the United States was fixed at 16 to i, 
and for the purposes of coining token silver dollars is 
still the ratio. That is, the silver in a silver dollar is 
just sixteen times as heavy as the gold in a gold dollar. 
Or to reverse it, the gold in a gold dollar is just leth the 
weight of the silver in a silver dollar. 

''Up to 1834, when the ratio was 15 to i, the gold in 
a gold dollar was rsth the weight of the silver in a silver 
dollar. When the ratio was changed to 16 to i, the 
quantity of gold in the gold dollar was lessened and made 
Teth the weight of the silver in a silver dollar. 

" The quantity of silver in the silver dollar was not 
disturbed. It being the unit, was respected, and re- 
mained the same. The gold dollar was cut down from 
24.7 grains pure gold to 23.2 grains of pure gold. So 
that now it is one-sixteenth the weight of the pure 
silver (371^ grains) in the silver dollar. This is what 
ratio means." 

Mr. Lyman Gage, president of the First National 
Bank of Chicago, interrupted the little speaker. 

He had been watching for an opening, and he now 
thought he had it, where he could deliver a telling, and 
follow it up with a knock-out, blow. 

He rose to his feet. All eyes were on him. In Chi- 
cago Lyman Gage is at the ' ' top of the heap. ' ' His 
word is law on the subject of finance. " How does he 
happen to be at the head of the largest bank west of 
the AUeghanies, if he does not know all about it?" 


coin's financial school. 

This is the way the Chicago people reason when their 
thinkers are allowed to think. 

As a rule they are a very busy set of men. On all 
such questions as a National finance policy their ''think- 
ers'' run automatically. Such men as Mr, Gage do their 
thinking for them. Cities do not breed statesmen. 
They breed the specialist. A specialist favors what will 

tend to promote his business though it may injure the 
business of others. A statesman must be broad. He 
must have a comprehensive appreciation of the interests 
of all the people — especially the poorer classes. If he 
has been a railsplitter at one time, so much the better. 

The men who produce the property of the world are 
the men whose happiness should be consulted. The men 
who handle this property after it is produced have little 
regard for the interests of the producers. Their selfish- 
ness and greed blind them. Their minds are running in 
a groove and they cannot see the rights of others. 


Hence, Mr. Gage is a good banker —a specialist — 
but a poor statesman. Lincoln was a good statesman, 
but would have made a poor banker. 

The audience was mostly in sympathy with Mr. 
Gage, except those who had been won over to Coin the 
day before. 

*' I would like to ask a question,'* said Mr. Gage. 

*' Proceed,'* said Coin. 

' * How can you have, at any fixed ratio, the same 
commercial value on two separate metals, that are from 
time to time varying in the quantity of each produced ? ' ' 

**This is the 'stock fallacy ' of the gold monometal- 
lists," said Coin. ''All commercial values are regu- 
lated by supply and demand. The commercial value of 
any commodity depends on supply and demand. If the 
demand for a particular commodity is continuously rising 
and the supply does not increase, the commercial value 
will continuously rise. 

" When the mints of the world are thrown open and 
the governments say, ' We will take all the silver and 
gold that comes,' an unlimited demand is established. 
The supply is limited. Now with an unlimited demand 
and a limited supply, there is nothing to stop the com- 
mercial value of the two metals going up in the market, 
except the governments saying — ' Hold on — these met- 
als are for money — we fix the value at which they 
circulate. This unlimited demand is for silver at $i for 
37 1 J^ grains, and $i for 23 2-10 grains of gold — we 
stamp these into dollars respectively in those quan- 

" While an unlimited demand has been established, 
the point at which the supply can take advantage of that 
demand is fixed. And the demand pulls them both 
plumb up to that point. At 16 to i and 371^ grains of 



silver as the tinit, the commercial value of 371^ grains of 
pure silver is a dollar, and an ounce of silver is worth 
$1 . 29 29- 100, and 23 2-10 grains of gold is worth a dollar, 
and an ounce of gold would be worth $20.68 64-100. 

''I will illustrate it," and as Coin said this he 
quickly drew on the blackboard behind him the picture 
of two hands each drawing a cord through a hole in a 
beam of wood with blocks on the ends of the cords. 



"• Now," said Coin, as he leaned over and borrowed 
from Mr. Owen F. Aldis his cane, and pointing at the 
drawing on the blackboard, continued: ''The hand 
drawing on the cord represents the power of unlimited 
demand — the beam represents the price at which the 
demand stops — and the two little blocks on the ends of 
the cords, as close up against the beam as they can get, 
represent silver and gold. 

The demand is represented by the two hands ; if the 
one on the silver cord should relax its pull, the little 
wood block representing silver would drop down. The 


unlimited demand for one metal (silver) was taken away 
— the unlimited demand for the other metal (gold) was 
continued. The whole disturbance since then has come 
from the demand being taken away from silver.** 

Mr. Gage had remained standing for a time, then 
resumed his scat, and became interested. 

Coin continuing, said : 

** England demonetized silver in 181 6, but as Ger- 
many, France and the Latin Union, and the United 
States had their mints open to the free coinage of silver 
and gold, the demand thuscieated wassufficient to main- 
tain the parity (equal value) of the two metals, and the 
action of England had no effect on the price of silver. 

"No one in England would part with his silver for 
less than an equal value in gold, when he could cross 
the channel into France and get an even exchange — so 
the price of silver as measured in gold was during all the 
years prior to 1873 substantially at par in England and 
the world over. 

''The United States closed its mints to silver and 
made gold the sole measurement of values in February, 


'' Germany followed and passed the same law in July, 
1873. The action of these two large nations caused a 
drop in the commercial value of silver as measured in 
gold of 2 per cent by the end of that year. 

''France and the Latin Union closed their mints to 
the free coinage of silver in January, 1874, and by the 
end of that year silver as measured in gold had declined 
4 per cent. 

* * Then came the gradual breaking down of the com- 
mercial price of silver as measured in the new standard 
— gold — and acts were passed tending to this end. Among 
them were the acts of 1876 stopping the coinage of the 

30 coin's financiai, school. 

trade dollars by which we were supplying China and 
the Orient with coin, and the law in 1878 authorizing and 
sanctioning notes, bonds and mortgages, to be taken 
payable in gold only. This latter is a clause in the Bland- 
Allison act, a copy of which can be found in Coin's 
Hand Book, or can be obtained from any of your con- 
gressmen. It discriminates against all our other forms 
of money and allows the creditor to dictate that his cred- 
its shall be payable in gold, 

** These acts have been followed up by the declared 
policy of the government to redeem all other money, in- 
cluding silver, in gold. 

* ' The same class of legislation was simultaneously in 
progress in Europe, so that by the summer of 1893 ^i^" 
ver had declined 35 per cent. Then came the closing of 
the mints of India to silver and the decline increased to 
50 per cent. 


"Comparing the prices," continued Coin, 'Vof the 
relative commercial values of the two metals for the 
whole world, Mr. Sauerbeck, an English statistician, has 
prepared a table showing the value of silver as measured 
in gold for 19 years before and 19 years subsequent to 
1873. The table expresses it in index numbers. It is 
London quotations. 

" I have these tables printed," said Coin, '* and will 
cause them to be distributed among you." 

Little boys then went through the school and gave 
every one a copy of the table. 

Coin waited till the tables were distributed and then, 
looking straight at Mr. Gage, he said : 

*'You will see from this table that during the 19 
years prior to 1873, while /r^^ coinage was the law in 

coin's financial SCHOOt. 


the nations I have named, the commercial value of 
silver in the London market — in gold standard Eng- 

MR. Sauerbeck's tabi^e. 





from 1873 

Index -numbers 

Index - numbers 

from 1873 

back to 1854. 

of Silver 

of silver 

on to 1892. 



















90 2 






























































land — did not vary either way more than 2 per cent. 
— tV of I per cent under was the least, and 2 per cent 
over was the greatest. The average for the 19 years 
shows a premium on silver over gold, which is explained 
by the disturbance created by the difference in ratios in 
France and the United States. 

'' If the same ratio had existed in all these countries, 
then the only difference would have been the exchange 
difference, the cost of freight in the movement of bullion 
when unevenly distributed as between silver and gold 
when needed at different points. 

"Nor did the varying quantities of silver and gold 
in the world, during this period from 1854 to 1872, have 

32 coin's financial SCHOOly. 

the least effect on the relative commercial value of the 
two metals. 

*' Mr. Mulhall, the lyondon vStatisticiaii,has compiled 
statistics showing the relative quantity of silver and 
gold in the world at different periods, and his figures are 
substantiated by the official reports of the governments 
of the world from which they were taken. 

**He gives the relative quantity in 1848, 1880 and 
1890, but does not give it at any other date between 
these periods. But taking the dates he does give, we 
find that in 1848 there were 31 tons of silver to i ton of 
gold in the world. In 1880, 18 tons of silver to i ton 
of gold. In 1890, 18 tons of silver to i ton of gold. 

^*Now as the relative supply of silver to gold was 
decreasing from 1848 to 1880, then this decrease was in 
progress between 1854 and 1872, and yet during this 
oeriod it had no effect on the relative value of the two 
. letals. 

** If Mr. Sauerbeck's table was extended back to 
1848 or to 1792, the variation in it would be no greater 
than existed between 1854 ^^ 1872. 

''And yet we find that there were 31 tons of silver in 
1848 to I ton of gold — a large over-production of sil- 
ver as compared with gold. Using the official figures 
given by Mr. Mulhall, and estimating from them, the 
proportion in 1872 was 19 tons of silver to i of gold. 
The production of silver had become materially less as 
compared with gold, and yet through all these years 
from 1848. to 1872, there was no difference in the com- 
mercial value of the two metals that would not be ac- 
counted for by the French ratio disturbance and the 
cost of exchanging the two metals. 

*' During the period between 1849 and 1854 the gold 
mines of California added largely to the world's stock of 


gold. So much so that men of Mr. Gage's views as to 
supply of the two metals varying, started a propaganda 
for the demonetization of gold. 

'* And yet with all that gold output, we find that it 
had no effect on the relative commercial values of the two 
metals. The reason why it could have had no effect was 
because the demand for either was unlimited. Both 
enjoyed the same advantage in that respect. 

The attempt that was then made to demonetize gold 
had not gone far, when to the surprise of those that 
were engaged in it, gold maintained its commercial 
value. They realized then by the practical workings of 
free coinage of the two metals, their error and abandoned 
the effort. 

''Had specie payments been in operation in 1873, 
no doubt silver never would have been demonetized. 
Nearly every one would have been alive to the interest 
of our metallic money and it would have been daily 
asserting its own importance as in 1850-54. 

*' It was during a period of suspension of specie pay- 
ments in England following the French war that parla- 
ment demonetized silver in 18 16, in much the same 
manner that it was accomplished in this country. 


* ' To show you how perfectly the law of free coinage 
worked from time immemorial till 1873, i^ sustaining 
the commercial value of silver and gold at a parity, I am 
now going to distribute among you a copy of page 50 of 
the 'Statistical Abstract' for 1892, issued by the Treasury 
Department of the United States." 

Coin waited until they were distributed, and every 
one in the room had one in his hand, including Mr. 




( Page 50 from U. S. Statistical Abstract 1892.) 


[Note. — From 1687 to 1832 the ratios are takeu from the tables of 
Dr. A. Soetbeer ; from 1833 to 1878 from Pixley and Abell's tables ; 
and from 1878 to 1892 from daily cablegrams from London to the 
Bureau of the Mint.] 














































15. 1 1 









1 691 
























































































































1 701 























16.17 • 












16.59 K 



































17.94 r 












18.40 H 








16. II 








































18.(14 "^ 



















15. II 

185 1 



19.41 tt 












20.78 5^ 



































22.09 g 


15. II 






















20.92 W 












23.72 fl 





coin's financiai. school. 35 

** You will see from this table," continued Coin, 
** that from 1687 to 1873 the commercial ratio of the two 
metals was never lower than i to 14.14, and never higher 
than I to 16.25, a variation of only about two points. 

'* This difference is accounted for by the difference in 
ratios fixed by different governments, and the cost of 
exchange ; ours being 15 to i prior to 1834. 

*'Run your eyes down these columns from 1687 to 
1873 and see how smooth the commercial ratio appears. 

** Now all stop, with your fingers on 1873 • Up to this 
point through two centuries we see how the commercial 
value of silver and gold was kept at a parity notwith- 
standing the varying supplies of the two metals. 

** Now run your fingers down from 1873 to 1892, and 
in that short period what a change, O ! my countrymen. 

' ' Instead of 1 5 to 16 pounds of silver being worth one 
pound of gold, we see it jumping rapidly, till in 1892 it 
took nearly 24 pounds of silver to equal in commercial 
value one pound of gold. And now it takes 32 pounds 
of silver to equal in the market one potmd of gold. 

' ' While in 200 years there was under /r^^ coinage a 
variation of only about 2 points, in 21 years, under de- 
monetization there is a variation of 16 points, and during 
the latter period the proportion of silver to gold produced 
has been growing less. 

We here have a demonstration of how free coinage 
controls the commercial value of the two metals. 

''So true and accurate was this effect of free coinage 
or unlimited demand for both metals in fixing their 
parity at the ratio established, they were virtually one 
metal, and a difference in production of either could not 
have, and did not have, the least influence. 

'* I will illustrate it another way." In less than a 
minute Coin had drawn on the blackboard two reservoirs 


coin's financiai, school. 

filled with water and connected with each other by a 

**Now," said Coin, pointing with the cane at the 
reservoirs and their connecting pipe, '^the water in one 
of these reservoirs represents silver and the other gold. 
The connecting pipe makes them virtually one metal 
and either answers the requirement of the government 

for money. So long as that connecting pipe remains, the 
water in the two reservoirs will remain even — the same 
height. Do away with the connecting pipe and the 
feed pipes at 4 and 5 will soon destroy the equilibrium, 
as their quantities vary from time to time. 

"The law of free coinage (the connecting pipe) 
maintains the parity of the two metals. When that was 
taken away from silver and left on gold a disturbance 
was natural. 

** Prior to 1873, when the connecting pipe was work- 


ing freely, the ratio in France was 15^ to i, while in 
this country it was 16 to i, and this difference in ratio 
was the only disturbing element, causing only slight fluc- 
tuations in the comparative value of the two metals, 
when measured in each other — this depending on the 
direction in which the bullion was moving: 

** But the moment the ' connecting pipe ' was cut, the 
derangement in the values of the metals and of all prop- 
erty began. 

''And now," said Coin, "if I have not answered 
Mr. Gage's question, I want him to say why I have not." 

C^iN had been listened to with rapt attention. A pin 
could almost have been heard to drop at any moment. No 
sound was heard except the voice of the young speaker, 
whose pleasant style of address had a charm about it that 
did not wear away. 

There were many scholars and thoughtful business 
men in the audience — men of intelligence. Many of 
them owned large business blocks. Capitalists who had 
made Chicago what it is — such men as Leander McCor- 
mick, H. H. Kohlsaat, L. Z. Leiter, Phil. D. Armour, 
Potter Palmer and Samuel Allerton ; merchant princes 
like Marshall Field, John V. Farwell and Franklin 
MacVeagh ; lawyers of local and national reputation, 
such as Luther Laflin Mills, Judge Henry G. Miller, 
Judge Collins, Jno. S. Cooper, Edwin Walker and A. S. 

There was a fascination in Coin's manner of delivery 
that had caused every word he uttered to be heard and 
understood. They had listened critically, expecting to 
detect errors in his facts or reasoning. There were none. 
They were amazed. He was logical. 

Real estate owners who had seen their rents going 
down, their houses becoming vacant, while their taxes 

38 coin's financiai. school. 

were growing bigger ; merchants who had been doing 
business on a falling market for twenty years, now felt 
as if they had each an interest in this money question. 


Mr. Gage arose and said : 

** What you have said about the commercial value ot 
silver and gold being maintained at a parity under a 
fixed ratio, has been due to the enlarged use of these 
two metals, as money, under a free coinage law adopted 
by the principal nations of the world. International 
bimetallism would do what you say. But the United 
States alone could not maintain the parity of th^ two 
metals. Silver would be the cheaper, and gold would 
leave us. We would have no credit abroad, and a total 
derangement of our commerce would follow. And in this 
respect you have not satisfactorily answered my ques- 

"Then, Mr. Gage," said Coin, *' we agree, do we, 
that the commercial value of silver and gold can be 
maintained at par on a fixed ratio at 15)^ to i or 1 6 to 
I, if their free coinage is provided for by the same 
nations that had such a law in 1873 ? " 

'* Yes," said Mr. Gage, '' we agree thus far." 

*' Thanks," said Coin. " If all are as well satisfied 
thus far as Mr. Gage, we have gained a great deal. To 
understand these fundamental principles as far as we 
have gone, and as adapted and applied in the past, and 
as tested and proven a success, is essential to our further 
study of this subject. 

''In arranging the programme for this school, I 
thought it best to leave the subject of independent free 
coinage by the United States to the last. I will not now 
change the order. When I answer that question it will 


be as simple and as satisfactory as any we have yet 

'* From the tone of the press in this city, it will be 
readily understood that we do not agree on the cause of 
the present depression in business, and how much of it 
is properly chargeable to the demonetization of silver. 
Let us first find out the cause of this calamitous condi- 
tion of things and then we will speak of the remedy. 

** We have seen that the closing of the mints, first of 
the United States, secondly Germany in 1873, followed 
by France and the Latin Union in 1874, depressed the 
price of silver as measured in gold 35 per cent. And 
the closing of the mints to silver in India, in 1893, fur- 
ther depressed its price to 50 per cent. 


''Before demonetization both metals constituted the 
redemption money of the world ; and as both metals ex- 
isted in about the same quantities, it gave us twice as 
much money of redemption as gold alone will now fur- 
nish us. There is in the world now, according to the 
report of the director of our mint, $3,727,018,869 in 
gold, and $3,820,571,346 in silver. 

" The dislocation of the parity of the two metals by 
the demonetization of silver, and the attempt to main- 
tain our credit in gold, has reduced the redemption 
money of the world from $7,547,590,215 to $3,727,018,- 
869, or a little less than one-half the original amount.*' 


*'I want to know," said Mr. George H. Rozet, a 
real estate dealer, here interrupting Coin, "why you 
say silver is demonetized, when it is in circulation every 
day and handled by us as money ? " 


coin's financial school. 

ys ©f 



" We have seen," replied Coin, "how tlie commer- 
cial value of the two metals were parted. By the same 
laws that produced this result, silver was made redeem- 
able in gold, and ceased to be redemption money. Sil- 
ver now circulates like paper money, both redeemable 
in gold. It is now subsidary coin or token money. 

'' Strictly speaking, nothing is money but redemption 
money — all other forms of so called money are money 
only in the sense that certified checks are money. 

"In the sense in which j'ou say silver is money, 
nickel and copper are money, but they form no part of 
our stock of redemption money. Gold now takes the 
place formerly occupied by both gold and silver, and is 
our only redemption money. Silver, as now treated, 
cuts no figure in our currency that could not be sub- 
stituted by paper or other metals. What is meant by 
demonetization is, that silver has been destroyed as 
primary money. 

"We are now on a single gold standard, and have 
come to it through a period 
of limping bimetallism." 



changing ratio. 

Mr. Fred Miller, cashier 
of the Bank of Commerce, 
announced a desire to ask a 
question and proceeded to 
state it. 

"It appears," said Mr. 
Miller, "that whenever the 
ratio has been changed, the number of grains of pure 
silver in the silver dollar has not been disturbed, while 
the quantity of .gold in the gold coin has been changed ; 

coin's financial vSCHOOL. 41 

I want to know if there is any particular significance in 
this ? Why change the gold and not the silver ? ' ' 

* ' As silver was the unit, ' ' answered Coin, ' * more 
respect was paid to it than to the other metal. But 
there was another reason that would ordinarily have a 
controlling influence. I mean the cost of re-coining. 
There are about one hundred pieces of silver coin to one 
piece of gold coin. In coining ten million dollars in 
dimes, it requires the striking off of one hundred million 
coins. To coin one million dollars in quarters requires 
the striking off of four million coins. One million dol- 
lars in halves requires two million coins. One million 
silver dollars one million coins. 

*' While in making our gold money, comparatively 
few coins are required to be struck. One million dollars 
in ten dollar gold pieces requires only one hundred thou- 
sand pieces to be struck, and in twenties, 50,000. It 
would be much more expensive to recoin the silver than 
the gold. It would also be of great inconvenience to the 
government and the people to gather in all the silver 
coins, while it is of small inconvenience comparatively 
to collect in and recoin the gold. 

'* To re-coin the silver money is more expensive, and 
would take a much longer time than to recoin the gold. 
But the greatest significance is in the fact that it was 
the money of the people. Its integrity and identity was 
respected by our forefathers. 

"As our time to close the school for the day has 
arrived, we will now adjourn till 10 o'clock to-morrow 
morning." (Adjourned.) 

Mr. Gage, and all those who, like him, had gone to 
hear Coin for the purpose of refuting his arguments, 
walked out of the room in a thoughtful manner. 

They had previously reached conclusions that the 


gold standard was the proper thing. They had only- 
studied one side of the question. They had become 
firm in their opinions, and had worked up memorials to 
Congress against the free coinage of silver. 

They had not based these opinions on the necessity 
of international bimetallism, but upon the theory that 
a gold standard is the best financial system for the 
United States to adopt. 

Now, having met for the first time some one who 
knew the science of money, they were surprised. That 
it should come from the lips of a boy they were more 
surprised. Instead of scoffing at him, and confusing 
him, they had listened and been compelled to give assent 
to his plain and unanswerable views. 

Their hope now laid in preventing him from showing 
that the demonetization of silver was the cause of low 
prices — stagnation in business, and the deranged indus- 
trial condition of the country. That we have been 
compelled to adopt a financial system forced upon us by 



Thk Third Day. 

An increased interest was plainly seen in the large 
attendance on the third day. Coin was also received 
with marked favor, and groups gathered around him as 
he entered the hall and warmly shook his hand. 

He was assured that Chicago had many bimetallists, 
but that the subject had been a perplexing one to the 
people. It was regarded as an abstruse question, and 
the people generally had not tried to unravel it. It re- 
quired the knowledge of so many statistics and facts 
with which the masses were not familiar, they were 
hardly expected to understand it. 

Mr. Joel Bigelow, of 2449 Prairie avenue, was one of 
the most demonstrative in a cordial greeting to the little 

Give it to them, young man," said Mr. Bigelow. 
''The eyes of the people here have been blinded with 
this gold craze. I have been distributing Archbishop 
Walsh's pamphlet among them and have opened some 
of their eyes." 

Mr. Bigelow is an exception to most bimetallists. 
He had not been forced by personal business disaster to 
inquire into the cause of so many failures. He is a large 
real estate owner, owes no debts and has plenty laid by. 
He is philanthropic. He believes in the happiness of 
the people. Would that there were more such men ! 



With a pleasant salutation to all, Coin moved along 
through the crowd until he reached the stage, and 
promptly at lo o'clock began his lecture of the third day. 

**The science of money," he began, "is an exact 
science. As much so as mathematics. 

* ' The primary value of all property is its exchange 
value. If we had no money, one kind of property 
would be exchanged for another. Needing the calico 
on the merchant's shelf, you would exchange for it a 
bushel of potatoes or such property as you might have 
to offer. A sort of exchange value would be placed on 
all property. A bushel of w^heat would buy about so 
many pounds of sugar, and so on. 

"This is what is meant by the exchange value of 
property. Money is a medium of exchange to facilitate 
this exchanging of property. 

" If there were no money, and we had to depend on 
exchanging property for property, we could find a sub- 
sistence, but there would be no such thing as our present 
civilization or anything like it. 

* ' Each merchant would have to be prepared to store all 
kinds of property, perishable and otherwise, he received 
in exchange for his goods. Railroads would have to 
arrange to receive payment for fares and freight in prop- 
erty and store it until it again could be exchanged. 

"If you went to the theater you would have to take 
with you a crate of cabbage or some other kind of prop- 
erty to pay your way into the play-house. 

"There would be no practical method for paying 
labor. Commerce would virtually cease, and civilization 
would go backward. 

"If to be without money would produce such a re- 
sult, then the subject assumes vast importance. 



** As stagnation and depression to business incalcul- 
able would result from having no money, then a part of 
these evils can be brought about by having money 
insufficient in either quality or quantity. 

jb:xchanging property for theatre tickets. 

'* In the first place, it was deemed best to select some- 
thing for money which was valuable within itself. Some- 
thing that had an exchange value. So that he who 
parted with his property for it, had something which was 
itself valuable. 

'' By stamping it as money, and making it legal ten- 
der in the payment of all debts, it then became money, 
and possessed two qualities: 

' * First; It had value of itself. If the government went 
to pieces that had stamped it, it was still valuable prop- 
erty and would have an exchange value. 



'* Secondly; When made money, it became a common 
medium of exchange and took the place of barter and 
trade. The stamp of the government upon it, became a 
certificate of its quality and quantity. Thus by making 
a commodity into money we had a medium of exchange 
that was both useful and valuable. 


''After using many perishable commodities, experi- 
ence and wisdom brought the people of the world to the 
use of silver and gold. 

''If experience could suggest a commodity better 
adapted for money than metallic money made from silver 
and gold, it should be adopted. 

"The merit of these two metals 
is that neither will rust, corrode nor 
stain, and both are odorless. As 
compared with other property, both 
are very durable. Of the tvvo, silver is the most dura- 
ble. Abrasion causes more loss to gold than to silver, 
and the latter may be carried in the pocket and sub- 
jected to great use with but little loss. 
One was the money of the people — the 
other, of the rich. As two legs are 
necessary to walk and two eyes to see, 
so were these two monies necessary to 
the prosperity of the people. 

"It was considered that silver and 
SINGI.E STANDARD, ^^j^ ^^^^ sufficicut iu quautity for use 

as primary money, but if at any time their combined 
quantity should become too small, then some other metal 
would have to be adopted and added to these two. The 
law of unlimited demand by free coinage, would tie a third 
metal to these two, and thus increase the quantity, if 
at any time it became necessary. 


coin's FINAKCtAt SCHOOt. 


' * Thus the founders of a monetary system, on the prin- 
ciple oi free coinage to the commodity selected, had a 
practical method for supplying any deficiency that might 
arise by reason of the exhaustion of the silver and gold 


Thus far everyone had listened attentively, and no 
one had interrupted the little speaker. 

Now Mr. John R. Walsh, president of the Chicago 
National Bank and prinicipal owner of The Chicago 
Herald and Evening Post, who occupied a seat near the 
front, arose and asked this question: 

" How can the government by passing a law add a 
cent to the commercial value of any commodity ? " 

''You were not here yesterday?" said Coin to Mr. 
Walsh. To this Mr. Walsh replied that he was not. 

[wanted i<^0'^<*^Hori«5E5 

'* Suppose," said Coin," that Congress should pass a 
law to-morrow authorizing the purchase by the govern- 
ment of 100,000 cavalry horses of certain sizes and qual- 
ities. And the government entered the market to get 
these horses. Horses would advance in value. Not 




only the kind of horses desired, but also other horses 
upon which there would be a demand to take the place 
of the horses sold to the government.*' 

The hand-clapping that 
followed this reply, and smiles 
on many faces, indicated two 
things — one was, that the re- 
ply was satisfactory; the other, 
that the school was making 
progress — for it was the first 
applause Coin had received. 
''The government,'* con- 
tinued Coin, *'can create a 
demand for a commodity." 
" The prospect of a law being passed will sometimes 
add to the value of property. The tarifif law was re- 
cently being considered by the Finance Committee o^ 
the Senate, and on its becoming 
known that the committee would 
repoit in favor of a high tariff on 
sugar, the market value of the stock 
of the American Sugar Refining ^^ 
Company advanced 15 per cent. ~V 
Its total stock is eighty million dol- 
lars. This prospect of a law pass- 
ing added twelve millions of dollars 
to the wealth of the stockholders 
of that company. If Mr. Walsh 
will read the proceedings of yester- 
day's school, he will see how free 
coinage fixes the commercial value 
of silver. 

"In the free coinage of silver 
as money, the eSect is not to in- 


coin's financiai. school. 49 

crease its exchange value, but to give a permanent and 
fixed value." 


** We are now dealing with money as a science, and, 
strictly speaking, nothing is money except that com- 
modity which has been selected to be money. It is a 
common thing for us to refer to National Bank notes, 
greenbacks and other forms of paper money as ** money." 

'' After a nation has fixed what its money shall be, it 
then issues diff'erent forms of credit money all of which 
are directly or indirectly redeemable in the commodity to 
which a fixed and stable value has been given. 

*' This is done for convenience, and to facilitate com- 
merce and the exchange of property. It does not add 
one dollar to your actual money but represents your real 
money, and being easier to carry, is a convenience. 

"All money may be a medium of exchange, but 
primary money only is the measure of values. Credit 
money is not a measure of values ; it is a medium of ex- 
change only. 

** I will refer to money proper as redemption or pri- 
mary money, and in speaking generally of all other 
forms of money, will use the term credit money. 

** There are two kinds of credit money, as to the 
material out of which they are made. One is made on 
paper and embraces all forms of government and bank ^r * 
notes that are issued from time to time as authorized by ^^ 
law. The other is — token money. ^ y 

** Token money is made from some metal that does ,., 
not ^n]oy free coinage. 

*' Credit money of all kinds circulates by reason of its j^'* 
being redeemable directly or indirectly in money — in re- , ^ 
demption money, property money. A piece of paper 
money, or token money, is a promise of the government "" 

50 coin's financiai. school. 

to pay so much money. The money promised is the 
redemption mon e}^ . 

** With so much paper or credit money in your pos- 
session, there is supposed to be that much redemption 
money to your credit with the government or bank issu- 
ing it. It is a check to bearer for money, when pre- 

** Hence it is called credit money. It circulates on 
the credit of the government, on the confidence of the 
people that the government will be able to redeem it if 
it is presented. 

*'I have taken pains to impress on you the distinc- 
tion between actual money and credit money, as no just 
comprehension of our monetary system as a science can 
be had without it. 

* ' Actual money was too cumbersome to handle in all 
the transactions of business, and this gave rise to issu- 
ing credit money representing it. Like wheat in your 
wheat elevators certificates are issued to those who 
put their wheat there. Such certificates are traded in. 
Each time one of them is transferred, it is equivalent to 
transferring the wheat itself. Wheat is behind the cer- 
tificates. A man does not carry a brick house around 
in his pocket, but he can carry the deed to it. 

" When you have credit money in your pocket, you 
are carrying around with you the title to property of 
that commercial value. 

'* In issuing dollar for dollar of credit money to re- 
demption money, it is not necessary that the govern- 
ment should keep the latter at all times in its treasury 
in full amount ready to redeem all the credit money. 

"Experience teaches that so long as sufficient re- 
demption money is in the country, the credit of the 
government can be depended upon to get it. But it 

coin's financial school. 


cannot strain the proportion beyond such amount with- 
out making the danger imminent, and the lack of con- 
fidence great. 

** If there is one thousand million dollars of re 
demption money in the United States — in its treasury, 
its banks, and among its people — then one thousand 
millions of credit money can be safely used and not more. 

*' If you want to increase the currency, you must in 
safety do it by adding to the redemption money, and for 
each dollar so added one dollar of credit money may be 


** If it is wished to vitiate the currency, increase the 
credit money beyond its normal quantity, or dig out 
the foundation from under it by lessening the supply of 
redemption money. ^-*^S5=s^^^ 


52 coin's financiai, school. 

'* The demonetization of silver destroyed one-half of 
the redemption money of the United States. It did it in 
this way : By making gold the unit and closing the 
mints to silver, it lessened the demand for silver, and its 
commercial value at once began to depreciate, as meas- 
^ nrei in gold. 

'* Where before silver and gold had been tied together 
?s one mass of commodity money, and all property had 
measured its value in it, now gold became the only 
measure of value, and silver became c/edit money — token 

'* The moment a new standard of money was set up — 
only one-half in quantity to what had previously ex- 
isted—silver began to fluctuate. It was then measured 
for its value in this new standard for measuring values, 
and bobbed up and down in the market, no longer pos- 
sessing that fixed value which free coinage had given it. 
It was like a kite without a tail and its course wa^own- 
ward. It had changed its position from redemption 
i;noney to token money. 

•^ V A forced parity between gold and silver has since been 
^r " strained ; namely, by sustaining silver with gold. It is 
r^ the same kind of parity the government maintains be- 
-\ . tween gold and paper money. What this means is, gold 
is our present redemption money and our credit money 
^-'^^"^consists of silver and all forms of paper money. 

* ' Each succeeding secretary of the treasury points 
to the law declaring it to be the intention of our finan- 
cial system to maintain all our money at par. Gold is 
the most valuable of all our money, and therefore to 
maintain it all at par, gold must stand under it and do 
the work of redemption money. 

"The law simply states an axiom in sound finan- 
ceering. All of our money should be at par ; with one 


coin's financial school. 53 

kind of money just as good as any other kind of money. 

"It is impossible to maintain two kinds of redemption 
money with one made from property having a commercial 
value of only one-half, or any noticeable per cent less 
than the other. When such is the case the lesser must 
lean on the greater, and to all intents and purposes be- 
comes credit money, while the mere valuable becomes 
the only redemption money. 

"We have in the United States in round figures 
$1,600,000,000 of all kinds of money. About one-third 
of it is gold, one-third silver and one third paper. O'^e- 
third of our money is redemption money, and two- 
thirds is credit money. 

' ' The blunder was made when silver was demonetized. 
The remedy is to remonetize it, and thereby restore its 
commercial value. Purchase acts, or any treatment of 
silver short of free coinage will have no beneficial effect.'' 

Mr. D. H. Wheeler wanted to know of Coin if he 
did not believe it would advance prices if the government 
were to issue five hundred millions of greenbacks. 

" No ; " was the reply. "It would break down the 
present tottering financial system the sooner. The 
remedy to restore prices, is to remonetize silver, and then 
issue more greenbacks. 


" We thufj see that money, primarily, is a commodity — 
property — a thing of value — possessing an exchange value 
with all other property. 

"That credit money is a title to commodity money. 
That in the exchange value between commodity money 
and all other property, credit money does not add any- 
thing— «it facilitates— -makes convenient the transaction of 

business, Just as your wli^at Q^rtific^te^ ^44 iiothipg to 

54 coin's financial school. 

the exchange value of wheat, or the things for which 
wheat are exchanged ; yet they facilitate its exchange. 

" Th is commodity money is the measure of values. Its 
quantity becomes the measure, and each dollar is a part 
of that measure. Credit money adds nothing to its 
value, it only facilitates the transaction of business based 
on that measure of values. 

"Our commodity or redemption money, up to 1873, 
was both silver and gold ; and our credit money was 
paper and copper. 

*' Since 1873 our redemption money has been gold — 
and our credit money has been paper, silver, nickel and 
copper. Silver and nickel have been added to copper 
as token mone3^" 

Here Mr. Walsh arose again, and Coin paused to 
hear the question he evidently intended to ask. 

"Has not," asked Mr. Walbh, "the necessity for 
money diminished since checks, drafts and bills of ex- 
change have come into such prominent use ? The first 
use of money is to effect exchanges, and as a vast bulk 
of exchanges, are affected without money, should not 
this be deducted from the bulk of exchange before a 
normal amount of money can be considered ?" 

"That is a statement of common error," said Coin, 
" and others urge it with as much confidence as Mr. 
Walsh. That situation does lessen the amount of credit 
money employed ; but it does not diminish the amount 
of redemption money necessary. Credit money is not 
used for its value, but for its convenience. Any other 
convenience which you can substitute for it may be 
made to answer the same purpose. 

"As redemption money is our measure of values, 
nothing can take its place and assist it in its woik that is 
not of equal commercial value. 

/ coin's financiai. school. 55 

^' It is also an error to suppose that checks and drafts 
to any very great extent take the place of credit money. 
It facilitates business for a man to be able to carry his 
check book with him instead of the danger and incon- 
venience of carrying a large roll of bills ; but the equiv- 
alent of each check he draws must be to his credit in 
bank to meet the check. If a man gives a check for 
$ioo, and that check is transferred to six different parties 
and pays in that way six different debts in the course of 
the day, it does no more than a $ioo bill would have 
done. It, too, could have started on the rounds and paid 
the same number of debts. The check has no advantages 
over the bill in that respect. 

"Where checks enlarge the use of credit money is in 
this : A bank may have had deposited with it $1,000,000. 
It only keeps say $400,000 on hand ; the banking and 
check system give greater utility to the $1,000,000, but 
the necessity for actual money has not been decreased in 
the least — the expansion of credit money by substitutes 
only emphasizes its importance. 


'* Three lines of credits," continued Coin, '* are built 
up on primary or redeniptioyi money. 

' ' First : Credit money — paper bills and all forms of 
token money — all redeemable in primary money. 

' * Second : Checks, drafts, bills of exchange, and other 
forms of like paper, payable on demand. 

''Third : Notes, bonds, accounts, and other forms of 
credit, payable at a particular day in the future, or upon 
the happening of some contingency. 

"A reckless era of business that extends either or 
both the secoud and third lines of credit beyond their 
normal volume may create a panic. Notes, bonds and 


coin's financiai, school. 

accounts become due that are not paid ; a lack of confi- 
dence arises resulting in the demand for all debts due 
for fear delay will endanger their collection. 
























l^irst L^ssoo. 

^ecou4 Lessoti, 



Thira I^esspo, 

coin's financial scsoot. 57 

'VArun on banks during such a period is natural, 
and many of them go down for want of sufficient reserve 
to pay all money deposited with them subject to check* 

'*I will illustrate it." 

As he said this he unrolled a chart, and as he pro- 
ceeded he disclosed others, illustrating the relation of 
primary money to credits. 

" Thebase section of these columns," he said, pointing 
with a stick at the illustrations, "represents comtnodity or 
property money. The next, or second, represents credit 
vioney. The third represents checks, and all forms of 
personal credits payable on demand. The fourth repre- 
sents notes, bonds, mortgages, accounts, and all forms of 
debts calling for money, made when contracted payable 
in the future. Thus we have — one — two — three — sec- 
tions of credit built up on primary money. 

" The column marked first lesson presents a nor- 
mal or healthy condition of things — a proportion which 
it would not be safe to greatly alter. 

" The column marked second lesson shows a pro- 
portion brought about by over-confidence. It is what 
often happens when the country is prosperous. A man 
in ordinary circumstances finds that he can easily float 
$5,000 dollars in debts ; and as his business is prosper- 
ous, he increases it to $ro,ooo. This expansion becomes 
contagious. Cities, counties, corporations — all increase 
their debts. 

" The column marked third lesson shows the result 
this condition produces. 

" In this instance which I have illustrated, the fault, 
or cause of the panic, has been entirely with the second 
and third columns of credit. Primary money and the 
first column — credit vioney — have not been at fault. 
Such panics are not of long duration. 


coin's financial schooi.. 









Birxs OF 




" I now call your attention to the fourth lesson. 

where the first, second and third sections of credit are 

all expanded beyond their proportion to primary money. 

''The FIFTH LFSSON shows the result 

this produces. 

''Panics thus caused 
^ — r ~^ are of longer duration, and 

more disastrous than the 
first. They breed distrust 
in the money of the coun- 
try ; and with those who 
do not distinguish between 
primary money and credit 
money, the prejudice raised 
goes to the whole financial 
system. When demone- 
tization took place, the col- 
umn representing primary 
ino7iey was reduced a small 
percentage over one-half 
— for convenience we will 
say one-half — and this half 
that was demonetized was 
added to the first column 
of credits — credit money. 
The people, a short time 
before this was done, had 
been prosperous, and had 
expanded abnormally col- 
umns 2 and 3. So we then 
had conditions as illustrat- 
ed in 1.ESSON SIX. 

"Though previously 
Fourth i^esson. Fifth i^esson. bascd ou the declared in- 


coin's FlNANCIAt SCHOOI.. 







tention to do so, actual resumption following the war, 
and a return to the system of property money, with credit 
money based thereon, did not take effect till January i, 


" For some time it was not generally known that sil- 
ver was demonetized, and for many years 
since then its true position in our currency 
was disputed. 

" It slowly dawned on the country that 
silver was neither fish nor fowl ; that like 
Mahomed's coffin it swung half-way be- 
tween the floor and ceiling. 

*' Finally the silver men, pushing their 
cause, forced the declaration from the ad- 
ministration that all paper money was re- 
deemable in gold or silver at the option of 
the holder. This meant that they de- 
manded the most favored and valuable of 
the two — gold. The government had 
stored most of the silver and issued paper 
money on it, which was declared to be 
redeemable in gold. 

'* This cut the base of the column half in 
two, and left us with only half a foundation 
for our financial system. 

' ' This defined the position of silver as 
token money, and if not redeemed directly 
— gold for silver — the exchange of the sil- 
ver for its paper representative would get 
the gold. The administration only wants 
a little more time to declare that silver is 
directly redeemable in gold — the true posi- 
tion of token money. 

''In the meantime, during these years, 
all property gradually declined in value s-s 







Sixth Lesson. 


eoiN*^ n^A^^QUi scHoat. 













Seventh Lesson. 

Eighth Lesson. 

compared with gold. 
The decline was pain- 
fully steady. 

*' These conditions 
caused new debts to be 
contracted to pay old 
debts, and the volume of 
new debts were rapidly 

* ' Those who could 
make nothing in their 
business borrowed 
money on their property 
to go into new ventures, 
and to meet their living 
expenses. Old debts 
were refunded. 

" Falling prices con- 
tinued, and borrowing 
continued until the 
spring of 1893, when the 
3rd column of credits had 
grown enormously. It 
had now reached the in- 
credible sum of nearly 
forty thousand million 

''The bonded indebt- 
edness of the railroads 
alone was five thousand 
million. Every town and 
city nearly felt the weight 
of a debt. Farms were 

mortgaged. Pfopefty in the cities was nearly all mort- 

" Lesson seven shows the condition w^ilh us in 1890, 
just before the Baring failure. 

'* Lesson eight shows the panic as it began in 1890 — 
the result of the portentous financial conditions that had 
been brewing for a long time. A financial storm was 
now on the country, the rigor and duration of which was 
to be unprecedented in the history of the world. For 
it not only involved the first, second, and third col- 
umns of credit, but primary money itself was involved 
under the enormous strain placed upon it. 

** By 1893 the conditions had grown w^orse, and les- 
son nine will illustrate it. (Applause.) 

* ' The best barometer of the storm now are prices of 
products and labor ; the first is still falling, and labor is 
not one-half employed. Judged by these the storm is 
growing worse. 

' ' Lesson ten will illustrate the present financial 
condition of the country. (Applause.) 

"What is now needed is first to build up the re- 
demption money of the country. By putting silver back 
in the column of redemption money we could increase it 
from its present volume of six hundred million to twelve 
hundred million. This amount of redemption money 
would warrant twelve hundred million of credit money. 

*' This would give us twenty -four hundred millions 
of money on a sound financial footing, or about $34 per 
capita. Whereas we now have virtually less than $20 
per capita on an insufficient and unsound basis." 

As Coin made this last statement he laid his right 
hand on the silver bell on the table, and as its clear 
notes rang through the room, a signal that the school 

62 coin's financial SCHOOt. 

Ninth lycssou. 

Tenth Lesson. 


coin's financiai. school. 

had adjourned for the day, a warm and hearty applause 
went up from a good percentage of the 2,500 people in 
the room. 


The Fourth Day. 

The comments of the morning papers on the third 
day's session of the school on the whole were favorable. 
The published accounts had been full and substantially 
correct, and the Times and Inter Ocea7i reproduced the 
illustrations that had been used. 

In this way the proceedings of the school had been 
laid before thousands of readers, whose interest had 
been aroused, and long before lo o'clock the hall was 
crowded, and standing room could not be had. 

The Inter Ocean in an editorial had commented on 
the tilt between Coin and Mr. Walsh, the president of 
the Chicago National Bank, and claimed that Coin had 
floored the great financier, in his answer to Mr. Walsh's 
proposition, that the government could not by legisla- 
tion add to the commercial value of a commodity. 

The Times pronounced the statements of Coin unan- 
swerable ; and said that interested parties had purposely 
kicked up a dust about silver, obscured and misrepre- 
sented the facts, and when confronted were unable to 
make good their statements, or answer the arguments of 
the bimetallists. 

All who had been there on the previous days and 
who came early enough to get in were there, and many 
new faces could be seen in the audience. 


68 coin's FINANCIAI. SCHOOIv. 

Objection was raised by the audience to free admis- 
sion. Coin was asked to admit people only on tickets, 
so seats could be procured, and to charge $2.00 a seat. 
This Coin agreed to with the understanding that the 
proceeds should go to the "soup houses" of Chicago, 
and this announcement was made just before the lecture 
for the day began, to take effect the next morning. 

Coin had entered by a private door, and just at 10 
o'clock came forward on the platform. 


He was met with a question at the beginning and it 
soon delevoped that it was to be a day cf questions. 

Professor Laughlin, head of the school of political 
economy in the Chicago University, an avowed mono- 
metallist, whose question had the attention of the whole 
house, said : 

"You have stated since this school began, that so 
long as free coinage was enjoyed by both metals that the 
commercial value of silver and gold had never differed 
more than 2 per cent, and that this difference was 
accounted for by the disturbance of the French ratio and 
the cost of exchange. Am I right in so quoting 3^ou ? " 

"You are," replied Coin. 

"Now, is it not a fact," said the professor, "that 
several times prior to 1857 silver coin sold at a premium 
as high as 8 per cent over gold ? ' ' 

* ' Yes. That is true, ' ' replied Coin. 

"Then why did you make the statement you did ? 
And if what you now admit is true, then is there not 
liable at all times to be a wide margin between gold and 
silver which free coinage cannot control ? '* 

'^ Professor, " began Coin, with a smile on his hand- 
some, young face, '' I hardly think you are serious ia 

coin's financial schooi.. 69 

asking me that question. We were speaking of silver 
and gold bullion and not of silver coin. A demand 
often arises for small money. Suddenly change or small 
bills are found to be scarce in a large city. This was the 
case in New York last year, 1893, when silver dollars 
commanded a premium of 3 per cent— not because of the 
silver being worth more than a dollar — but because 
factories had to have small biUs which they could not 
get to use in paying off their men. They paid the same 
premium for one and two dollar bills. 

*'A great inconvenience had arisen for the want of 
small money, and a premium had to be paid to get it. 
At the time you speak of, nearly all small money was 
made from silver, and on account of the French premium 
for silver our silver was leaving us. Small money was 
scarce, and frequently commanded a premium, not on 
account of the value of the silver bullion, but upon the 
demand for small money. Gold dollars commanded the 
same premium as silver dollars and fifty-cent pieces. 

" If you are not satisfied with my answer I have the 
exchangeable quotations of silver and gold bullion at 
the time you speak of. ' ' 

The professor had taken his seat. He now arose to 
say that he was satisfied with the answer. 

*' I am glad these questions are asked," said Coin. 
** These statements when used and not answered con- 
fuse the people." 


Mr. P. S. Eustis, General Passenger Agent of the 
C. B. & Q. Railroad, wanted to know what nations con- 
stituted the Latin Union, that Coin had referred to as 
having a ratio of 15)^ to i prior to 1873. 


*' France, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland and Greece," 
was the reply. 

*'Then," said Mr. Eustis, *'the Latin Union, Ger- 
many and the United States, b}^ free coinage had main- 
tained the commercial value of silver at par with gold?" 

*' Yes," was Coin's reply. 

*'And the United States," said Mr. Eustis, *'was 
the first of these to attack silver and demonetize it ?" 

''Yes," said Com. 

Mr. Eustis t3ok his seat, and some one near him was 
heard to mutter, " It was old John Sherman." 


Mr. J. A. Montgomery, Superintendent of Mails at 
Chicago, then arose and asked this question : 

'' What would silver and gold be worth if neither 
were used as money?" 

" That would depend," said the little financier, ''on 
what was adopted as money to take their place and the 
quantity of it. Primary money becomes the measure of 
all values ; and the value of any other commodity is 
more or less, as the quantity of primary money is more 
or less. That is the reason you hear gold referred to 
now as the standard or measure of values. 

" The most impartial way to get at what the value 
of silver and gold would be if not used as money would 
be to suppose there was no money of any kind. 

* ' Then there would be no measure of values, and 
only an exchange value would exist. If under these 
circumstances the arts and sciences progressed, the de- 
mand for silver and gold would cause other property to 
be exchanged for it, and as they are used in so many 
ways in the sciences and arts, and for dom2Stic and 

coin's financiai, school. 


ornamental purposes, it is reasonable to suppose they 
would have an exchange value equal to any other scarce 
property for which there was a demand. 

** When it is considered that they are both precious 


metals — neither tound in even or regular veins, and diffi- 
cult and expensive to mine — it is not unreasonable to 
suppose that great store would be placed upon their 
possession when refined into the pure metal. 

** Brass, copper, and other metals than silver and gold, 

72 ' coin's FINANCIAI. SCHOOIv. 

with anything like their specific gravity, discolor the 
skin when worn as ornaments. 

'* When we consider that the native Indians of this 
country were known to give up large quantities of valua- 
ble property in exchange for a few trinkets and ornaments, 
and that large domains of land were purchased in this 
way, it is natural to believe that a civilized man would 
give up as much as a bushel of wheat for the amount of 
silver in one of our silver fifty-cent pieces when fashioned 
into a ring. 

**Cups, pitchers, spoons, table knives, and other 
forms of table ware made from or plated with silver or 
gold, will not stain either the liquids or food. Their use 
in manufacture, chemistry, and some other branches of 
the arts and sciences are now regarded as indispensable, 
and more than one-half of the total output of the world 
is so used. 

*' It has been said that silver and gold have no intrin- 
sic value ; this is not true. They are the only things 
used by Webster in the copy of his dictionary which I 
have to illustrate the meaning of the word ' intrinsic' 

** But exchange value, in the sense that a civilized or 
uncivilized person will barter or trade one property for 
another, is the primary value of all property. 

*' Iron cannot be used for food, but its utility gives 
it an exchange value. Silver can be utilized for many 
mechanical purposes for which iron serves, and can be 
adapted to a thousand uses where iron would not be 

** Therefore, what the value of silver and gold would 
be if not used as money, to be expressed in dollars and 
cents, would depend, first, on what the new unit or dollar 
was, and then the abundance of the material from which 
it was being made ; but when established, they would, 


I think, have a value relatively with other property not 
much different from what they have had as the world's 


Mr. M. ly. Scudder, Jr., asked this question : 

** Is it not a fact that silver can be mined for fifty 
cents an ounce, and does not the cost of production regu- 
late its value? " 

Coin replied as follows : 

** It is not a fact that silver can be mined for fifty 
cents an ounce. In some particular mine, for a time, it 
may be mined for fifty cents an ounce, or less ; just as 
gold has been mined for a time in Australia and Califor- 
nia for ten per cent of its value." 

*' You must not judge of the cost of mining precious 
metals by any one mine ; or by mining coal, iron, or 
other metals and minerals that lay in even veins. The 
latter class is demonstrated by geological formation and 
experience to be reliable in quality and quantity ; works 
are erected, and conservative management and business 
judgment are safely applied to its production. 

'^ Not so with silver and gold mines. They are most 
unreliable in both quality and quantity. Costly build- 
ings and machinery are often erected to economize the 
mining of the ore, only to find no mine to operate by 
the time the buildings are completed and the machinery 
is working. 

' ' Silver and gold are found in uneven and broken 
veins and pockets. Sometimes the * pay streak * is a 
foot wide, to narrow down to an inch a few feet farther 
on. A single blast has been known to 'blow out' a mine 
— and with it the hopes of those who before the shot 
was fired thought they were millionaires. 


. '* A silver mine that will assay loo ounces to the ton 
at 200 feet depth, has been known to run only. 10 ounces 
at 400 feet depth. The Yankee Girl mine in Red Mount- 
ain, Colorado, was a heavy dividend payer, at 300 feet, 
and the ore was too low grade to pay to hoist at 800 
feet. The Comstock mines changed at 1,600 feet 
from high grade to low grade ore. The reverse is just 
as often true. Mines that are low grade near the surface 
are high grade with depth. 

**It is estimated by all men of judgment who have 
given practical attention to mining, that the silver now 
in existence has cost not less than $2.00 per ounce, and 
many put it much higher. 

''Mining for silver and gold has a speculative and 
gambling feature to it, that will lure men on notwith- 
standing the great cost, because a few ' strike it rich ' ; 
just as men will speculate on the 
Board of Trade, though in the end 
ten lose to where one gains. If 
Mr. Scudder's proposition were true, 
you would all be engaged in silver 

'* But your presence here gives me 
an opportunity to forever set this 

SAM B. RAYMOND. , . . ^ t . i . • 

question at rest. I am sure that in 
so large an assemblage of wealthy Chicago men, many of 
you have had some experience in silver mining. Now, 
if all of you," and Coin began to smile, '' who have lost 
money in mining for silver will rise to your feet, I will 
then call on those who have made by it to stand up also." 

The applause indicated clearly that the young econo- 
mist had clinched his point ; and the smile that went 
round told that the shot had gone home. 

Sitting in the assembly were many prominent Chi- 


cago citizens who had invested in silver mining and bad 
made a sufficient test to satisfy themselves both as to the 
risk incurred and the cost per ounce of mining silver. 


Mr. E. R. Ridgeley, of Ogden, Utah, who was in the 
audience, said he would like to ask a question. 
'' Proceed," said Coin. 

** I want to know," said Mr. Ridgeley, ^ if it is not 
practical to maintain a purely greenback system." 

** Yes," said Coin. *' The only theory, however, on 
which a purely greenback or paper money system might 
be maintained would be to do away with a redemption 
money entirely. You cannot have 
both without the redemption prin- 
ciple applying. The money with a 
value in itself becomes the most pre- 
ferable, and must stand behind the 

* ' You cannot maintain two kinds 
of money at a parity, when one has 
WILLIAM T. BAKER. a commcrcial value and the other has 
none, except by making one redeemable in the other, 

"But you might have a purely paper money. The 
method would be to have no redemption money and to 
make it legal tender in the payment of all debts public 
and private. 

'* lyimit it in quantity by fixing the amount at so much 
per capita. Maintain the volume at that as population in- 
creased, and from time to time provide for what had been 
destroyed. The fact that it was limited in quantity, and 
the uses for which it was intended, would give it a value, 
and make it a measure of values, and a serviceable me- 
dium of exchange. 




'* Silver and gold would be treated as any other mer- 
chandise, and would be purchased at their market value, 
and exported to other countries, where they might be 
used as money, or for use in this 
or other countries in the arts and 

*'Then," said Mr. Ridgeley, ' Vhat 
objection is there to such a system ? " 
*' The objection which is urged," 
said Coin, ' ' is this : So long as 
there was confidence in the govern- 
ment, it would be a sound, stable 
money. But so soon as confidence in the government 
was shaken it would depreciate in exchangeable value. 
When the danger became imminent that the govern- 
ment was not able to enforce its legal tender character, 
having no commercial value, it would become more or 
less worthless. 

*^The paper or substance out of which it is made, 
would have no exchangeable value, 
unlike money made from a valuable 
Q^W commodity ; when much disturbed 
by a lack of confidence it would 
fluctuate in value ; and if the 
government went down it would 
be entirely worthless. 

"Money with a commercial 
value makes a medium of exchange 
with the balance of the world, and 
facilitates our trade." 
''But," said Mr. Ridgeley, who was still standing: 
** Isn't it a fact, that when war, and great disturb- 
ances come, that redemption money disappears, and 
paper money takes its place anyhow ? So are not the 



coin's financial SCHOdt. 



become entirely 

people at such times embarrassed with a paper money 
fluctuating with their confidence in the government, 
and saddled with a worthless paper money if the govern- 
ment goes down, and does the use of silver and gold 
as money ever prevent this condition from arising?'' 

* ' The use of redemption money , ' ' 17^^.^. 
replied Coin, '' does not prevent the ^^ ^ '' 
conditions you describe. Paper 
money always takes its place at 
such times. The people, however, 
are not injured by it. They store 
away their good money — and have 
it in their possession ready to use at 
any time, and it becomes especially 
useful if the other money should 

** After the use of redemption money ceases because 
of war, every one is on the same 
footing. As the paper money 
fluctuates from day to day, all 
are taking chances alike. If it 
becomes wholly worthless, all 
have suffered more or less pro- 
portionately, and primary money 
immediately takes its place. 

"This latter is true, whether 
a new government is founded on 
the ruins of the old one at once 
or not. There may be a long 
interregnum, as in France toward the close of the last 
century, when one form of government was from year 
to year almost, substituted for another. No one knew 
what was coming next. No stability was in the govern- 
ment itself. During such a period, which may last for 




iXm TTTl! 



years, it would be impossible to make paper money 
circulate. But money made from property having a 
commercial value would circulate, and would assist 
materially in restoring order and 
civilization. In fact, it would be 
hard to restore civilization without 
its use during such a period. 

* ' We are approaching such a 
period now, unless wise statesman- 
. ship shall intervene ; commodity 
money — silver and gold — will be 
our only money, and will have to 
answer the purpose of a medium 
of exchange until a stable government can get on its 
feet and issue paper money. 

''All know and feel the necessity of money, and if 
chaos comes in this country, it may be years before there 
is another government sufficiently established to give 
confidence generally to its issue of paper money. 

' * In the meantime silver and gold coin will be the only 
thing on which we can rely for money, and of the two 
silver will lie as it always has been, the greatest friend 
of the people.'* 



J. R. Sovereign, Master Workman of the Knights of 
>?• Labor, who had a seat on the 
platform, now asked a question : 
*' You have given us the theory 
and science of money," said Mr. 
Sovereign, *' as based on property, 
I want to know if it is practical to 
issue a form of credit money based 
on labor?'' 




** Yes," said Coin. '' It is practical, and, to the ex- 
tent to which it could be brought into use, would be on 
a parity with other forms of money based on property. 

''Suppose the government owned 
and controlled all the railroads— it ^/' 
could issue paper money redeemable ^^ 
in services. That is, it would be good 
in the payment of freight and at all 
the ticket offices. JKJI \ 

**If the passenger and freight busi- 
ness of the country amounted to $i,- 
100,000,000 a year, which is the case 
at present, then that amount of paper J<^^^ s- cooper. 
currency thus redeemable could be safely kept in circu- 
lation. The supply would have to be limited — so that 
confidence would be maintained in the ability of the 
government to redeem it, in a reasonable time, if called 
upon so to do. 

* ' This would be credit money redeemable in labor. It 
should also be made legal tender, and differ in no respect 
from credit money redeemable in 
property — silver and gold — except 
as to the nature of redemption. 

'' Naturally it would circulate 
side by side with the other form of 
credit money, inside of the United 
States, and in the payment of 
freight and purchase of transpor- 
tation, no discrimination would 
ordinarily be made in the form of 
money used. 

* ' If confidence in the existence of the government 
should be shaken by wars or disintegration, as such a 
danger arose, this form of money would be assorted out 





from the other and redemption could take place, and 
no one would suffer by it. 

** It would be as sound a cur- 
rency as credit money based, on 

*' It would be put in circulation 
by the government paying it out 
to its employes. 

' * The postage stamp is based on 
the principle of redemption in 
services, but is not issued in suit- 
able form for currency, and yet it is frequently used in 
small remittances in letters as such. 

" A form of credit money could now be issued resem- 
bling our paper bills, redeemable in postage stamps." 

** How much?" asked Mr. Sovereign, whose face 
had worn a broad smile during the answer to his previous 

** The total annual postal business," said Coin, ''of 
the government for last year 
was about $75,000,000. This 
amount would circulate at par, 
with other money — how much 
more I would not now undertake 
to say. It would be redeemable 
in postage stamps, just as the 
other would be redeemable in 
railroad passenger tickets, or 
receipted freight bills. 

*' This would be money based on labor." 


NO SPKCIAI, advantage: to SII.VKR STATKS. 

Coin was here interrupted by President Struckman, 
of the Board of County Commissioners, who said : 



"Is it not unfair to give the owners of silver bullion 
the special privilege of having the value of their prop- 
erty enhanced ? Is it not virtually making a present of 
millions of dollars to the owners of silver bullion by re- 
monetizing silver ? Is this just or right ?' ' 

"In the first place," replied Coin, "whatever you 
select as primary mouey should be treated distinct- 
ively different from all other property. It should not be 
left on the market to be bulled or beared. Otherwise 
you cannot have a stable money. 

" Free coinage at a fixed quantity to constitute a dol- 
lar does take it off the market, and that is what is nec- 
essary in the treatment of a money metal. That is the 
way gold is now treated, and silver should be so treated. 
' * But your statement is not true. Silver men are not 
benefited by remonetization except in common with 
others. Silver is now worth about 60 cents an ounce as 
measured in the new standard — gold. It was worth 
$1.29 per ounce under free coinage. The owner of silver 
^^^ bullion can now buy as much with 

- i^^ an ounce of silver as he ever could. 

* ' An ounce of silver bullion 
would buy a bushel of wheat in 
1873, and it will buy a bushel of 
wheat now. Two ounces of silver 
bullion would buy a day's labor in 
1873, ^^^ two ounces will buy a 
day's labor now. Three ounces of 
silver bullion would buy a keg of 
nails in 1873, and two ounces will 
buy a keg of nails now. An ounce 
of silver bullion would buy 16 
yards of calico in 1873, and it will 


ASKS A QUESTION. buy i6 yards of calico now. 

82 coin's financiai, schooi.. 

''The exchange value of uncoined silver with the 
other products is substantially the same now as it ever 
was. Where silver producers are hurt is only in common 
with all producers — stagnation, falling prices, paraly- 
sis of business, and confiscation of property by taxation 
and debts that do 7iot shrink with all other values." 

Coin's answer was satisfactory. This was evident 
not from applause, for there was none; but from the 
intense stillness and breathless attention. It was also 
attested from the further fact that there sat in the audi- 
ence men ready to leap upon him at the least show. 
His answers had to be absolutely convincing, or an an- 
tagonist was there ready to puncture the weak places. 
Not one opened his mouth. Coin was like a little mon- 
itor in the midst of a fleet of wooden ships. His shots 
went through and silenced all opposition. 


There was Professor taughlin still irritated at his 
unsuccessful attack on the little bimetallist. As the 
professor in a chair of political economy, endowed with 
the money of bankers, his mental faculties had trained 
with his salary, but his views had been those of theory. 
Those views now encountered the practical statesman. 
He moved nervously in his chair, but said nothing. 

Here was a study and an object-lesson. Combined cap- 
ital all over the world had been using professors of polit- 
ical economy to instruct the minds of young men to a 
belief in the gold standard. This is not hard to do, as 
these students, being young, their minds are easily 
molded. The error is planted deep and strong. 

Anything can be proved by theoretical reasoning. 
In the practical application of a theory is the proof of 

coin's financiai, schooi.. 83 

its strength. The gold standard, now fitted to a shiver- 
ing world, is squeezing the life out of it. The men of 
the country, the backbone of the republic, on whose 
strong arms the life of the nation may depend, are de- 
livering over their property to their creditors, and going 
into beggary. This is the test proof of the beneficence 
of monometallism. 

There sat a representative professor on political 
economy, at home when with his school boys, but 
powerless and confused in the presence of an adversary 
who courted his questions, but which he knew it was 
useless to propound. 

* * You do not enrich the people of the silver states 
one cent by the remonetization of silver," continued 
Coin, * * except in common with the people of the state 
of Illinois, and of the whole United States. 

** You increase the value of all property by adding to 
the number of money units in the land. You make it 
possible for the debtor to pay tiis debts ; business to start 
anew, and revivify all the industries of the country, 
which must remain paralyzed so long as silver as well 
as all other property is measured by a gold standard. 

Mr. Struckman interrupted Coin to say, that the an- 
swer to his proposition was entirely satisfactory. That 
the reply given had never occurred to him, simple as it 
was. That he wanted to say further, he considered 
that the people of Chicago had been imposed on by some 
of their great newspapers ; what private object they 
had, or whose interests they were serving, he did not 
know ; but they had misrepresented the silver question. 
He felt better to make this open confession, and he 
thought other gold-bugs would feel better if they would 
do likewise. 

84 coin's fisnanciai. school. 

improved facilities. 
Mr. Kirk, President of the American Exchange Na- 
tional Bank, was now seen standing up, and Coin 
stopped to hear the question he was about to put. 

''Have not the improved facilities for production,*' 
asked Mr. Kirk, '* caused a general lowering of prices, 
and is not this mainly responsible for the gradual decline 
since 1873? '' 

Coin repHed : 

* * Improved facilities for production have not been 
continuous when applied to any one article in the sense 
of explaining the decline in prices. 

* ' Nearly everything except gold has declined largely 
in the last two years — the average is about twenty-five 
per cent — and it may be said that little or no improved 
facilities have come into use during that time. Demon- 
etization and the collapse of our financial system seems 
to have paralyzed the hand of even the inventor, and yet 
values continue to decline. 

' * Improved facilities as a rule do have a tendency to 
lower prices, but it is only an incident, and not the cause 
of the overthrow of our industries. 

''When the demand is greater than the supply, 
prices may advance at the ver}'- time that improved facil- 
ities for production are in progress. 

"Improved facilities for mining gold, both in the 
placer and quartz mines, are continuously being applied ; 
and yet the value of that metal, in purchasing power, 
is continuously rising. 

"Take the case of wool. There has been no im- 
proved facilities for making it grow on the backs of 
sheep, or of shearing them, in the last twenty years, and 
yet wool is only about one-third the price it was a few 
years ago. It, with many other articles that can be put 

coin's financiai, school. 85 

in the same class, have been steadily declining in price as 
expressed in terms of dollars and cents. 

**A gentleman from Oregon, now in the audience, 
tells me that he has lately seen horses in his state sell at 
auction for 75 cents each. And that horses in droves 
have been offered there recently at one cent a pound at 
private sale, with no one willing to take them. It can 
not be said, that there are any improved facilities, for 
raising horses.'* 


Mr. H. H. Kohlsaat, late proprietor of the Infer Ocean, 
now said that he wanted to say something, and as he 
had Coin's attention, immediately proceeded to state the 
tariff proposition. Mr. Kohlsaat claimed that the threat 
to reduce or abolish tariff, in his opinion, had more to do 
with the hard times than anything else. That since 
attending these lectures he had more than ever recog- 
nized the damage demonetization had done ; but he still 
thought the tariff an important question. 

In replying Coin admitted that a large business in- 
terest was more or less disturbed when it was proposed 
to change the tariff schedule. With manufacturers it 
was not so much a question of how much the tariff is, 
as what it is, and so long as that was in doubt it was a 
disturbing element. 

** But," said Coin, '' we are trying to get at what is 
the main or underlying cause of our present industrial 
demoralization, and tariff, pro or con, will not account 
for it. Our decline in values has been going on steadily 
and persistently since the demonetization of silver. 
During that period we have had different tariff bills, and 
of late years a very high tariff schedule, and yet it has 
had no effect in stopping the fall of prices. 



'* What more clearly than anything else demonstrates 
that tariff is not the trouble we are searching out, is that 
the same business depression existing in the United 
States also prevails in Europe, Australia, and all coun- 
tries where gold has been made the standard and measure 
of values. 

* ' To see only our own trouble, and attribute it to 
local causes, is to be like the narrow-minded Chicago 
man who attributes the present depression, to the World's 

''The Chicago Pos^ published the following the other 
day from the San Francisco Chronicle, that will forcibly 
illustrate my answer to this question ; ' ' and Coin read 
the following : 

The San Francisco Chronicle, says advices from Australia by 
the steamer Warrimoo show an alarming increase in casualties, 
crimes and acute distress. The police are unable to cope with 



desperate housebreakers, who swarm in the large cities. A few 
that have been arrested give as an excuse that famine drove them 
to deeds of violence. Several of the policemen attacked by burg- 
lars at Sydney are dying. The survivors have been promoted and 
given bonuses by Sir George Glbbs. 

On one day last week at Sydney, besides a score of petty rob- 
beries, the City Hospital wiii robbed of all its valuables by nurses; 

coin's financiai, schooi.. 87 

Mercredie & Drew, manufacturers, were robbed of fifty thousand 
dollars by employes ; F. Coxon, merchant, was robbed by an 
employ^ of a large sum. Three young women succeeded in pass- 
ing a number of counterfeit checks. Charles Graham, a post- 
office clerk, embezzled two hundred dollars from the postoffice. 

The government's claim is that the unemployed problem is too 
complicated to solve. In Sydney five hundred dollars each week is 
spent in aiding five hundred families. Five thousand men in South 
Australia asked the Governor to call a special session of Parlia- 
ment to discuss means to aid them. The Governor refused. Then 
they waited on Premier Kingston, but the Premier would promise 
nothing. He told them that though they were in want of food, 
they had refused to break a yard and a half of rock per week for 
rations, and he could do no more. The delegation said that they 
would not break rock for food alone. 

Thousands are sleeping in the open air and several have starved 
to death. At Bourke Afghans and Europeans quarreled over a 
division of labor, and a bloody row occurred. The most tragic 
suicides out of ninety-eight in one week, directly the result of 
hard times, are : F. W. Wilson, the biscuit manufacturer of Bris- 
bane, shot himself; William O'Connor, lodger in the European 
Hotel, Melbourne, jumped from the fourth story and dashed his 
brains out on the pavement; Kate Brooks, a pretty English girl, 
starving, got drunk and killed herself with poison ; Joseph Ban- 
croft, a miner, out of work, said good-bye to his family and 
exploded a cartridge in his mouth. 

As Coin closed the reading of the extract from the 
San Francisco Chronicle^ Mr. Joel Bigelow asked him to 
read an extract from a paper published in London called 
'* The Colonies and India '* which Mr. Bigelow then had 
in his hand. Coin consenting, Mr. Bigelow came for- 
ward with the paper, and Coin read the extract as fol- 
lows : 

One of our contemporaries asks : *' What is the most constant 
standard of value in existence?" There can be but one 
rational answer, in fact — viz., silver. The value of a ton 
weight of silver on any given day — whether expressed in 
£, s, d.^ in dollars and cents, in francs, in marks, or in rupees 

88 coin's financial school. 

and pice, and (compared on the same day with) the sum of* 
the market prices of standard test quantities of each of one hun- 
dred varieties of the most generally-dealt-in commodities of the 
market, also expressed in the same money terms — have by 
statistical observation and many hundreds of official tests, 
practically been found the constant equivalent, on the same 
market, of each other during the last five and twenty years 
since the system of ''index numbers'* was invented and 
applied to this branch of national business. This fact stands 
officially recorded. For Great Britain the Board of Trade 
publishes tables which prove it, and such, or their own private 
statistics, are regularly printed in leading commercial journals. 
Continental scientists also regularly publish their independent 
statements of these ** index numbers.'* The truly marvelous 
fact above stated is thus capable of absolute verification by each 
one for himself, and if this does not prove silver to be the 
true and world-wide standard of value then there is no signifi- 
cance in facts. The metal gold, on the contrary, tried by the 
same supreme test, shows itself to be in no sense a "standard" 
of value, for it jumps about like the mercury in a barometer 
with every movement of the commercial atmosphere, its vibra- 
tions — to speak within the fact — having dodged about, up and 
down, as much as 20 per cent, down from a given point and 
tben back to that point, and then 20 per cent, up from that 
same point, all within the short space of 40 or 50 years ! How 
in the name of commercial sanity, how with a profession of 
national honesty, how with a claim to the meanest common 
sense, the Government of England continues to oppose the 
restoration of our ancient, proved, and only honest standard of 
value passes the wit of sane onlookers to understand. 


Mayor Hopkins wanted to know what effect the 
adoption of the gold standard by the governments using 
it had, if any, on those nations using a silver or bime- 
tallic standard. What effect, if any, it had on their 
prosperity ? 

Coin's reply was : * ' If a bimetallic or silver standard 
nation, or its people, are largely in debt, with the obli- 

0* TBM > 


coin's F^mANCiAVSpgqpt.o* ^V^ 

gations payable in gold, the effect is^^Sn^^^F^fake our 
South American republics to illustrate it: During the 
last 30 years they have been getting deeper and deeper 
into debt to England, and during the last 25 years these 
debts have been made payable in gold. 

" Each year, with the advance in gold it takes more 
and more of their products, or silver, to pay the gold 
bonds; they must give up in silver $1.25 to pay $1 in 
gold — $1.50 in silver to pay $1 in gold — $1.75 in silver 
to pay $1 in gold, and so on, as the purchasing power 
of gold advances ; and at the present time $2 in silver 
to pay $1 in gold. 

So that a bond for $100,000 executed by them when 
silver and gold were at a parity, payable in gold, must 
now be met by the payment in principal of $200,000 in 
their money. That is — to raise the $100,000 in gold, 
they must sell 200,000 of their silver dollars. You will 
notice in the London Financial reports the price of Mex- 
ican dollars as 50 cents or 49 cents as the case may be ; 
which means that about two Mexican silver dollars are 
accepted in payment for one dollar in gold settlements. 

*'The bonds of these countries both national and 
private are held in England for large amounts, and the 
enhanced value of gold is having a very serious effect on 
their prosperity. We are now an ally pf England in de- 
pressing the price of silver and enhancing the value of 

' * We are paying England 200 million dollars annually 
in gold in the payment of interest on our bonds, national 
and private, owned by her people, and to meet this an- 
nual interest we are giving up about 400 million dollars 
in property that is required in the market to secure the 
200 million in gold. 

' ' Our silver dollars are at par with gold by reason 

90 coin's i^inanciai. school. 

only of our enforcement of the gold standard — ^redeeming 
silver with gold. Otherwise we are with reference to 
debts in the same fix as our Southern neighbors, with 
this difference ; while they settle their foreign debts 
only in gold, we settle both foreig7i and domestic debts on 
the gold basis, and in each instance part with about two 
portion of property in settlement for one portion of debt.'* 

And with this Coin announced the close of the lect- 
ure for the day. 

As he did so Mr. Stone, secretary of the Chicago 
Board of Trade, stood up in his chair in the center of the 
hall, and addressing Coin, said : 

' ' The members of the Board of Trade would like to 
attend to-morrow's lecture, but the regular session of the 
board lasts till i p. m. ; if it could be arranged to have 
the 'school' open at 2 p. m. instead of 10 a. m., it 
would make it possible for us to be present. And in that 
event I am commissioned to buy three hundred tickets 
for to-morrow's lecture. We feel a special interest in 
what shall take place here to-morrow, as I am creditably 
informed the price of wheat will be discussed." 

Coin consented to the request made by Mr. Stone, 
and the time for opening the school on the next day, 
Friday, was set for 2 p. m. 

Mr. H. M. Milliken, a young bimetallist was se- 
lected by Coin as manager and treasurer of the hall 
under the new system adopted of charging for seats. 
Mr. Stone at once selected and paid for three hundred 
seats, to be occupied by members of the Board of Trade. 

Thk Fifth Day. 

It was a day of bullvS and bears. 

Tickets for seats had been printed the evening pre- 
vious, and the ticket office had been opened in the morn- 

Under Mr. Milliken's able management, notwith 
standing the great rush, everything proceeded orderly ; 
and after the seats were all sold, tickets for standing 
room readily brought the regular price, until the hall 
was packed. There were fully 3,000 people in the 
audience at two o'clock, when Coin appeared on the 
crowded platform. 

The morning papers had twitted Professor Laughlin 
with his attempt to trap the little bimetallist by an unfair 
question, and the Times cited it as a sample of the meth- 
ods used by the monometallists in their campaign of 

Lengthy comments were published editorially on the 
proposition of credit money based on labor, to be re- 
deemed in services by the government. 

The Inter Oceari said, editorially : 

This kind of money would relieve the volume of money now 
used in transactions with the numerous postoflfices of the whole 
United States. It is no inconsiderable amount that is now 
required to perform this business, and the country would readily 
absorb a supply suflScient for a year's use in advance. 

94 coin's FINANCIAI< SCHOOt. 

The Record said : 

The idea of money based on labor is a new one, but the plan 
is so practical and sensible, we can see no objection to it. To 
enlarge its use necessitates the government ownership of rail- 
roads. Government ownership of the telegraph lines would also 
add to the quantity of this class of money. It would certainly 
be sound money, redeemable in value received in the way of 

There would be no serious objection to government ownership 
of railroads and telegraph lines if all of the employes were disfran- 
chised. If they had no power to vote there would be no danger of 
Ccesarism from them. If the country was prosperous, and all 
branches of business were lucrative, the number of people desiring 
to hold a government situation would be materially reduced. 

Coin's answer to Mr. Scudder, as to the cost of pro- 
ducing silver, was approved by all the papers except the 
Tribune, But as that paper has become the unblushing 
defender of the classes, on the income tax, bribed and 
unjust property assessments, and every other iniquity 
that bears heavily on the many and favors a few, little 
importance was attached to what it said. 

The monometallists that were such from personal 
interest had been piqued and disappointed at the head- 
way the little bimetallist was making. His lectures 
were having an influence that speeches, books and arti- 
cles could not have, as he was challenging contradiction 
of his statements. With such an audience of students 
of finance, authors arid bankers, these statements became 
admitted facts, that in their judgment were dangerous to 
their cause. 

Two columns had been erected on the platform for 
this morning, and each of these were surmounted by a 
sheaf of wheat. This was due to the good taste of Mr. 
Milliken, by whose direction it had been arranged. 

Three globes were on the platform. One was very 
large and the other two were very small. 

coin's FiNANCXAt SCHOOt. 95 

The little economist began his fifth lecture with a 
compliment to the Chicago Board of Trade, as the great- 
est institution of its character in the world. He then 
proceeded ^ follows : 

*' The total value of all the property in the world is 
about 450,000 million dollars. 

* ' The available silver and gold money of the world 
combined is about 7,500 million dollars. The available 
gold money in the world is about 3,750 million dollars. 

"Their proportion in values to each other is repre- 
sented by these three globes." Coin pointed, as he said 
this, to the three globes on the platform by him, and 
then picked up the two smaller ones and held them in 
his hand that the audience might see them. He then 
continued : 

"The large one represents the value of all the real 
and personal property in the world; the larger of the two 
small ones represents the face value of the silver and gold 
in the world available for use as money; and the smallest 
represents the amount of gold in the world available for 
use as money. The proportion of these globes to each 
other is in the same ratio as the figures I have named. 

"The large one is 60 times as large as this one," 
indicating the second in size, "representing silver and 
gold, and is 120 times as large as the small one which 
represents gold. In estimating this wealth of the world, 
property in some countries has been measured in a silver 
standard, in others in a gold standard, and in others in 
a standard gradually shifting from a bimetallic to a gold 
standard. All are based on figures of 1890. 


' ' The value of the property of the world, as expressed 
in money, depends on what money is made of, and how 
much money there is. 


'* All writers on political economy admit the quanti- 
tative theory of money. Common sense confirms it. 

' * To be correct this theory should always be applied 
to the quantity of redemption money. 

*' The issuing of wheat certificates against the wheat 
in your elevators, does not increase the value of the wheat; 
and the credit money issued against the redemption 
money, does not increase the value of property. It facili- 
tates business based thereon. It enlarges business — 
not values. 

**The exchange value of primary money, for the 
property of the world, and vice versa, fixes the compara- 
tive value of the two. 

*' So if the quantity of money is large, the total value 
of the property of the world will be correspondingly 
large as expressed in dollars or money units. If the 
quantity of money is small, the total value of the property 
of the world will be correspondingly reduced. 

** Property measures its value in mone}^, and money 
measures its value in property. Money may increase in 
value by reason of its scarcity. When this is the case it 
buys more property — property buys less money. 

''The same law of supply and demand applies to it 
as applies to any specific class of property. You are of 
all men most familiar with that law of trade. 

'' If a certain number of bushels of wheat, is a normal 
supply for the World's use, and only half that quantity 
of wheat is produced, what is the result ? Wheat is 
worth about twice as much per bushel as if the normal 
amount had been raised. A bushel of wheat will buy 
iwice as much money as it would have bought if there 
had been a normal quantity. 

"This rule applies to money. If there is a normal 
quantity, it measures its value in property at a certain 

coin's financial school. 


price, subject to supply and demand affecting property 
only. If a normal quantity of money on a sound financial 
basis is maintained, values of property, and debts with 
reference to the time of contraction and payment, will be 
equitably adjusted, and fluctuations in values will depend 


on locality, and supply and demand of property, not 

* * At present the redemption money of the world in 
some countries is silver, and in some gold. Until recently 
the two were combined as primary money in most of the 
world under a law of free coinage, as we have before 
considered. Now silver is being destroyed as primary 
money, by a general movement that^ is^ der anging the 


98 coin's financiai, schooi.. 

commerce of the world, and the stronger nations are 
compelling the silver-using nations to settle with them 
on the gold basis. 

''It is therefore proposed by the monometallists to 
measure the value of all property in gold, and to settle 
all debts in gold or in money redeemable in gold. If 
our debts w^ere payable in wheat, wheat certificates 
which you handle every day would answer the same 
purpose, but the wheat would have to be in existence. 
So it is, if our debts are payable in gold — if paid in 
other money it must be as good as gold. To be as good 
as gold the other money must be redeemable in gold, 
just as your wheat certficates, are redeemable in wheat. 


''This policy rests upon the quantity of gold in the 

' ' To carry out such a financial policy the world has, 
as reported by the director of the U. S. Mint, about 
3,750 million of dollars in gold. Under any calculation it 
will not exceed at the present time 3,900 million dollars. 

*' But let us take the larger figure, 3,900 million dol- 
lars, and see what this amount means. 

"The population of the world in 1890 was about 
1,400 million. It is a per capita for the population of 
the world of about $2.50. In bulk it is about one-half 
the size of this nickel I hold in my hand." And as Coin 
said this he held up a 5-cent piece between his thumb 
and forefinger. 

"The whole 3,900 million dollars of gold in the 
world, cast into cubic foot blocks, can be stacked up in 
the corner of this room in a space 22 feet square and 22 
feet high, and space enough will be left of the 22 feet 
each way to box it in." 

coin's FINAJSrCIAI^ SCHOOIv. ' 99 

Coin here directed two boj^s, with a stick and tape 
line in their hands, to go to the corner of the room and 
measure off 22 feet square. 

This they did, with the assistance of the people sitting 
there ; measuring from the corner 22 feet each way along 
the walls, and then out from those points 22 feet parallel 
with the first measurements. At this point the stick 
that one of the boys was carrying was placed in a per- 
pendicular position, with the tape line reaching each 
way 22 feet to the walls. 

Coin, continuing, said : 

''That stick is 22 feet high, and the inclosure indi- 
cated by it and the tape line is the cube of 22 feet. That 
space will hold all the gold in the world obtainable for use as 
money I ' ' 

Coin had spoken the last few words slowly but with 
great emphasis. A buzz of conversation went around 
the room with expressions of disbelief — such as '' impos- 
sible," ''it cannot be." Many had risen to their feet. 
Professor Laughlin was scratching his head. A mild 
state of sensation pervaded the entire room. The biniet- 
allists were excited, but smiling, for they felt confident 
the little financier could not be cornered. In fact, he 
now had gold in the corner. 

"A cubic foot of cast gold," continued Coin, after 
waiting for the effect of his last words, "weighs 19,258 
ounces ; multiply this by 480, the number of grains in an 
ounce, and you have 9,243,840 grains. 

"This gives you the number of grains in a cubic 
foot of gold. There are 23.22 (to be exact) grains of 
gold in a dollar ; divide the number of grains in a cubic 
foot by this, and it gives you the number of dollars, viz. : 
$398,098 in a cubic foot of cast gold. 

" Now as there is $398,098 in a cubic foot of gold, by 

loo coin's financiai. school. 

dividing this sum into $3,900,000,000, the outside esti- 
mate on the total gold supply of the world, we get as a 
result 9,796 cubic feet. The next question is, how much 
space will 9, 796 cubic leet occupy. Instead of extracting 
the cube root, which would be unintelligible to many, 
we will do it this way." 

And with this he turned to the blackboard and mul- 
tiplied 22 by 22, and that result by 22 again — thus giv- 
ing the number of cubic feet in a space 22 feet each way. 
The result was 10,648. 

"You see," said Coin, *' a space 22 feet each way, 
such as I have marked off in the corner of the room, con- 
tains 10,648 cubic feet. 

The total number of cubic feet of gold in the world 
is 9,796. So we could put it all in that inclosure, and 
have 852 cubic feet of space left, which you will admit is 
enough to box it all in, without requiring any more of 
the space of this valuable room than the 22 feet.* 

*' This block of gold could be put in the wheat pit of 
the Chicago Board of Trade," continued Coin, looking 
down at the members of the Board of Trade who had front 
seats, " and you could go on buying and selling wheat 
without its seriously interfering with your business." 

With this Coin paused, and another buzz of conver- 
sation went around the room. Excited astonishment 
was upon the faces of all. There stood the figures, and 
no one could longer disbelieve. 

measuring the gold. 

"I will vshow you," he continued **how you can 
test this statement in a simple way. It is best that not 

*A cubic foot of water weighs 1,000 ounces. The specific grav- 
ity; of cast gold is 19.258. Of silver 10.474. ^o get the weight 
of a cubic foot of gold or silver multiply 1,000 by these figures 


the least scintilla of doubt should remain in your minds 
as to the truth of any statement that I make. The peo- 
ple have been too long deceived by misrepresentations ; 
the world has been brought to its present condition of 
misery by deception on this subject and we must depend 
on truth to find permanent lodgement in ycur minds to 
root out the falsehood. 


" I have here the teller of the Metropolitan National 
Bank with 125 twenty-dollar gold pieces, the number 
necessary for this simple test." 

As Coin said this the teller of the Metropolitan Na- 
tional Bank stepped forward with a sachel in his hand. 
Coin then laid a foot-rule down on the table and placed 
9 twenty-dollar gold pieces by it. Those on the plat- 
form gathered around, while he explained to the audi- 


ence that nine twenty -dollar gold pieces placed in a 
row was one foot long, and that hence eighty-one of 
them would go in a square foot. 

He then stacked up the gold pieces a foot high, plac- 
ing the rule by the side of them, and announced that 
the 125 in the stack measured one foot. 

And then said : 

" Multiply 81, the number in a vSquare foot, by 125, 
the number in each stack, to make them all a foot high 
and you have as a result 10,125 twenty-dollar gold 
pieces. Multiply this by twenty, the value of each, 
and you get the value of this cubic foot of gold coins, 
viz., $202,500. 

** A cubic foot of gold coin has in it 10 per cent of 
alloy ; this, together with the unoccupied space between 
the stacks of coin, is nearly as much space as that occu- 
pied by the pure gold in the coins. Sd 5^ou can see that 
if it was pure solid cast gold the cubic foot would con- 
tain the $398,098 + . 

**A11 the gold in the world cast into solid blocks 
may be stacked behind the counter of the Metropolitan 
National Bank." 

Coin then turned to the teller and invited him to a 
seat on the platform until he reached the silver illustra- 

** Most of your offices would hold it all," Coin 
began again. 

** It is in this quantity of gold that it is proposed to 
measure the value of all the other property of the world. 
Its significance is written in our present low prices and 
depression in business. 

**When the transformation now going on in India, 
which is changing her from the silver standard to a gold 
standard, and when Mexico and South America, and the 

coin's financial school. 103 

balance of the world are added to the gold standard, 
should such be the case, one pinch from that block of 
gold the size of a gold dollar (one-twentieth of an 
ounce) will be so valuable that it will not only buy two 
bushels of wheat, as it does now, but it will then buy 
four bushels of wheat. 

'* One-half that quantity will buy ten hours' labor 
from a strong-armed mechanic. So much as you could 
put in the palm of your hand, will then buy a man's soul 
— a statesman's honor. It is breaking down the fabric 
of our institutions ; driving hope from the heart and 
happiness from the minds of our people." And with a 
voice low and impassioned that reached the finer fibres 
of every heart in that room, he added : '* Who can esti- 
mate the damage to the commerce and business of the 
world ? Who can estimate the suffering that humanity 
has and must 3^et experience ? In what language can 
we characterize tlie men behind the scenes who know- 
ingly are directing this world to the gold standard ?" 

A man rising in the middle of the audience, ex- 
claimed, with the accent of Ireland in his tones : ** Imps 
of hell unchained, banqueting in selfish glee upon the 
heart's blood of the world." It came with the Irish 
ring in the words, rich and mellow, yet breathing fire 
and vengeance — vengeance for wrongs seared into the 
human heart suddenly and forcibly realized. The words 
seemed to linger in the air as if searching for the 
objects of its hate. It was learned afterwards that his 
name was Dalton, a member of the steamfitters' union 
in Chicago. He was loudly applauded for his appropri- 
ate answer. 

Coin rapped for order and continued : 

**We are not here to deal in sentiment — we are 
plain matter-of-fact people. 

I04 coin's financial school. 


**It is proposed by the bitnetallists to remonetize 
silver, and add it to the quantity of money that is to be 
used for measuring the value of all other property. 

*'In dollars at a ratio to gold of sixteen to one, 
there are about the same number of dollars of silver in 
the world as gold. The report of the director of our 
mint says there was in the world in 1890, in the form of 
silver coin and bullion used as money, $3,820,571,346. 

"A cubic foot of silver weighs 10,474 troy ounces,' 
and using S7i)4 grains to each dollar, this will make a 
cubic foot of cast silver worth $13,544. 

"You get this by multiplying the 10,474 by 480, the 
number of grains in an ounce, and dividing the result by 
371/^, the number of grains in a dollar. You then want 
to divide the $3,820,571,346, the silver of the world, by 
13,544, the number of dollars in a cubic foot. It gives 
282,085 cubic feet of silver in the world. 

'' Can you comprehend what a quantity of silver this 
is? I will tell you how. It will make a block of silver 
sixty-six feet wide, sixty-six feet long, and sixty-six 
feet high. 

" You can put it all — all the silver of the world — in 
one of the rooms of this building, and anyone entering 
at the main entrance on Michigan avenue would have to 
inquire in which room of the building the silver of the 
world was, before he could find it. 

"It will go in the Board of Trade room and still 
leave sufficient space, I imagine, for you gentlemen to 
do some business on dull days." 

Coin now had the teller of the Metropolitan National 
Bank hand him a satchel containing one hundred and 
fourteen silver dollars. With these he showed that six- 
ty-four silver dollars would lay down in eight rows, of 

coin's financial scHoot. . 105 

eight each, in a square foot, and that one hundred and 
fourteen laid one upon the other measured a foot in 
height ; that a cubic foot would therefore contain 7,296 
silver dollars. 

He then explained that the alloy (one-tenth), and 
the space between the sixty-four stacks of silver dollars, 
would hold the other $6,248 of the $13,544 i^ ^ solid 
cast cubic foot of pure silver. 

He also stated that the gold and silver of the world 
obtainable for use as money, when mixed with its alloy 
and coined, could be stacked up in less than double the 
space it would occupy in solid cast blocks. 

The little economist then continued : '' All the silver 
in the world available for money can be stored in the 
room of the First National Bank of this city and the base- 
ment thereunder. 

"This is the quantity of silver in the world, and it 
will be well for you to remember it when you hear some 
one talking about a flood of silver. 

"We have heard a good deal about the treasury 
vaults at Washington groaning with silver, and more 
talk of enlarging them. 

" The vaults under our treasury building can easily 
be arranged to hold all of the silver in all of the coun- 
tries of the world used as money, either in coins, bars 
or bullion. 

* * You can empty all of the pockets of the people of 
the world of their silver, the bank vaults, the merchants' 
money drawers, the sub-treasuries, the children's safes, 
all India, Mexico, South America, England, France^ 
Germany, Russia, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands, Brit- 
ish America, China, Japan, and the islands, big and 
little, of the oceans, and you can put it all into this 


room, or in the basement of the Treasury building of 
the United States. [Applause] 

**It is a matter of mathematical calculation and no 
intelligent citizen need be either alarmed or deceived." 

With this statement Coin paused a moment, while 
people looked into each other's faces and back again at 
the speaker. 


*' Until 1873," he continued, '* the primary money of 
the world was both silver and gold — at a parity. They 
were virtually one metal. The demand for primary 
money was met by the supply of both metals. The rel- 
ative valuations of property to money, and money to 
property, adjusted themselves accordingly. 

**Thus we had dollar wheat and i6-cent cotton in 
bimetallic measurement. A bushel of wheat went out 
into the market and purchased a dollar. 

**Then came the abandonment of the use of silver as 
primary money by the United States, followed by Ger- 
many four months later, and then by the Latin Union-, 
and recently by India. 

*'A new standard of measuring values was set up. 
Silver and gold combined was displaced by gold alone. 

''Silver being deprived of this privilege— free coin- 
age at the mints, and use as primary money — became 
property of the world, to have its value also meas- 
ured in gold. 

*' As the standard for measurement in the countries 
making this change was now only one-half of what it 
had been, it meant the decline in value of all property. 

*' The demand for gold now became greater, and as 
other countries threw silver aside, the demand for gold 

!^^ Of THX ^ 


coin's PlNANmlAIi^SCHOgJ^ ^v,^'*^7 

still increased. It became m<3l^e valuable — therefore, 
bought more property, silver included. 

"As the effect of these changes began to be felt, 
prices declined. As the demand for gold increased, its 
value increased — -just as the value of your wheat would 
increase if the double duty of both corn and wheat were 
put upon it. 

"So the purchasing power of gold continued to 
increase — and this increase was indicated by what is 
known as the fall of prices. Silver was no longer pri- 
mary money with us and it too as compared with rising 
gold declined in the market. It is the best thermometer 
we have to indicate the rise in gold. 

"This scroll that I invite you to study," and here 
Coin unrolled a parchment and hung it on the wall, 
"gives you the decline in the price of silver, wheat, and 

"We say 'decline,' but it would be equally true for 
us to say that these figures registered the rise in the 
purchasing power of money under this financial system 
that is based on gold. 

"Our daily expression is that wheat or some other 
property has declined so much. Bradstrect and Dun 
reported last week an average decline in all property of 
one and i-io per cent. 

"It would be a more intelligent understanding of the 
situation to say that the gold crop of the world — this 
crop that can be fenced in by twenty -two feet each way — 
had appreciated in value as the demand for it had in- 

"Remember that it has no way of expressing its 
value, except by what it will buy. The gold in a gold 
dollar may double or thribble in value, but so long as it 
is the unit of value, it will itill be called a dollar, and 


coin's financial scHoot. 

when expressed in terms of money no increase in its 
value will be indicated. 

'* It only expresses its value in its purchasing power. 

'*Ifa dollar buys a bushel of wheat, during a time 






















1 893 

Coy-roA/ At^o S/^ve/^/io^ £ac^ y^A/{, 

^ '■ J| ■ i ' l!M^ulal^>| l unai.llUH^l^ l ml|l^|ll.'Wt^ti 

when the supply of wheat is normal, and the conditions 
continuing normal, at a later time a dollar will buy two 
bushels of wheat— then the dollar has doubled its pur- 
chasing power. 

coin's financial school. 109 

" We speak of declining prices, and do not think of 
the appreciation of gold. We speak of the sun coming 
up in the morning and going down in the evening. It 
is we that come up and go down. The sun is relatively 

'* Property is standing still and gold is going up. 

'*It is common now to hear the expression that the 
silver in a silver dollar is only worth sixty cents, or fifty 
cents, or forty-eight cents, as the case may be at the time. 
People do not stop to think what measure that value is 
being taken in. When we had a double standard, and 
silver was the tinit, such a thing as its being worth less 
than a dollar was as impossible as it would be now for 
the gold in a gold dollar to be worth less than a dollar. 
Had gold been destroyed as primary money by the same 
nations, and silver made the standard, we could have had 
gold in the form of token money to-day, worth, sa}^ fifty 
cents on the dollar as measured in silver. 


** Suppose both were destroyed as primary money, and 
a new standard of values was set up — and that standard 
was diamonds. Suppose a carat diamond was made the 
dollar or unit. 

''And suppose gold and silver token money was used, 
of the weight and fifUeness now made, redeemable in this 
new redemption mone3\ 

' 'Under a double standard of silver and gold a pure one. 
carat diamond was rated at $50.00. A change therefore 
to the diamond vStandard, would contract values fifty times. 
Wheat under a double standard that was worth $1.00 on 
the farms, would under like conditions with a diamond 
standard, be worth two cents as expressed in the new 
standard, or diamond dollar. It could then be said that 
the gold in a gold dollar, and the silver in a silver dollar 



was worth only about two cents. The demand for dia- 
monds would become enormous, but as expressed in dol- 
lars a carat diamond would be a dollar. As expressed 
in purchasing power, it would buy fifty bushels of wheat. 
Wheat would be worth about two cents per bushel. 

*'Let me demonstrate. Say a one- carat diamond 
is now worth under a gold standard $25.00. If a carat 
diamond was adopted as the unit of value for our mone- 
tary system — one-carat declared by our law to be a dollar, 
and diamonds the onl}^ money of redemption, you would 
not say that a carat diamond was worth $25.00 ; but you 
would say that it was one dollar, or was worth one dollar. 

ffl 1 H H $5 


**As expressed in dollars and cents it would pull 
everything down with it. Wheat now worth fifty cents 
would be worth one twenty-fifth of fifty, or two cents. 

*' You could then make fun of gold as some of our 
papers are now doing with silver, and say that the gold 
in a gold dollar was only worth two cents. It could be 
urged as a reason for not remonetizing gold with as 
much force as the same argument is now used against 
remonetizing silver. [Applause.] 

coin's financial school. 1 r r 

''Those who have been deceived by this cry of a 
fifty-cent silver dollar have only themselves to blame, 
and if they are not money lenders ' they have been pay- 
ing the fiddler.' 


' ' We express values in dollars, the unit of our mone- 
tary system. That unit is now the gold dollar of twenty- 
three and two- tenths grains of pure gold, or twenty- five 
and eight-tenths grains of standard gold. If we were to 
cut this amount in two and make eleven and six-tenths 
grains pure gold a unit or dollar, we would thereby 
double the value of all the property in the United States, 
except debts. 

"If we were to double the weight of the unit or dol- 
lar by putting forty-six and four-tentfis grains in it, we 
would thus reduce the value of all the property in the 
world, as expressed in dollars, except debts, as they call 
for so many dollars. 

*'If you don't understand this proposition as I have 
stated it, you will by enlarging the scale. Keep on add- 
ing gold to the dollar, till it takes one hundred grains — 
five hundred grains — cne thousand grains — to make a 
legal U7iit or dollar. Go on making it larger till you 
have all of the gold in the world in one thousand units, 
or dollar pieces. 

* ' Who could give up property enough to buy one of 
them ? To buy a single dollar ? Suppose you owed a 
note calling for $100.00 payable in gold, one-tenth the 
gold of the world — how could you pay it ? Think of 
the property that would have to be slaughtered to get it. 

"Carry the illustration still further and put all the 
gold in the world in one dollar. A note for one dollar 
would require all the gold to pay it. When you reduce 
the number cf primary dollars, you reduce the value of 



property as expressed in dol- 
lars accordingly, and make it 
that much more difficult for 
debtors to pay their debts. 

'' And yet this is the kind 
of injustice that was commit- 
ted when silver was demon- 
etized. It struck down one- 
half the number of dollars 
that made up our primary 
money and standard of values 
for measuring the values of all propert3\ It reduced the 
average value of silver and all other property one-half, 
except debts. 

**It is commonly known as the crime of iSyj, A 
crime, because it has confiscated millions of dollars 
worth of property. A crime, because it has made thou- 
sands of paupers. A crime, because it has made tens of 
thousands of tramps. A crime, because it has made 
thousands of suicides. A crime, because it has brought 
tears to strong men's eyes, and hunger and pinching 
want to widows and orphans. A crime, because it is 
destroying the honest yeo- 
manry of the land, the bul- 
wark of the nation. A 
crime, because it has brought 
this once great republic to 
the verge of ruin, where it is 
now in imminent danger of tot- 
tering to its fall. [Applause.] 
** Pardon me for an ex- 
pression of feeling. We are 
not here to comment on the 
effects of demonetization, but 


coin's financiai, schooIv. 113 

to learn what money is, and wherein our financial system 
has been changed." 

The little speaker, without intending it, through a feel- 
ing of honest indignation, had burst forth in a recital of 
this catalogue of crimes. It had a perceptible effect on 
the audience. His earnest eloquence was melting hearts 
that never before had thawed to the presentation of the 

It is one of the wonders of the world — how the peo- 
ple have been so slow in grasping the financial problem 
— in learning what it is that measures values, and that 
the lesson should have to be learned through an expe- 
rience so bitter. 

** And now," continued Coin, '* if my explanation of 
what is known as the fifty-cent silver dollar is not plain 
and satisfactory I want to hear from you. It also 
accounts for fifty-cent wheat." 

Mr. Ed. Pardridge, a noted bear operator on the 
Board of Trade, who had been listening attentively, here 
stood up. He had commenced bearing wheat in 1893, 
when it was 80 cents, and to the surprise of every one 
had continued confidently to sell it short down to 53)^ 
cents, until he had made something like two millions of 
dollars and was still hammering away. 

With a smile on his face and a wink all around him at 
his fellow members of the Board, he said : 

' * I have understood the relation of redemption money 
to values for now little over a year, and have profited by 
it ; but you," addressing himself to Coin, *'have given 
the snap away." Then amidst laughter and applause 
Mr. Pardridge took his seat. 

Mr. Chas. Henrotin, a Board of Trade operator, then 
said that he had read in a morning paper, a statement 
signed by a Mr. Wheeler, that wheat in 1859 was as low 


coin's financial school. 

as it is now, and as bimetallism was then the law, he 
would like to know how that W'as ? Also that corn in 
1873 was about the same price (38 cents) that it is now, 
and he would like to hear from Coin as to that point. 
Unless, he said, there is a satisfactory answer as to why 
corn w^as as low in 1873 as the present low price, he 
could not satisfactorily change his present views, which 
were for the gold standard. 

Coin replied : 

*'The statement that wheat in 1859 was as low as 
now is not true. 

"The secretary of your Board has the bound jour- 
nals of a trade paper published in this city before the 
war that escaped the great fire. They are shown to 
any one who calls there. I have them here. 

''They show that the average price of No. 2 red 
winter wheat for 1859 was $1.10 per bushel. The aver- 
age price for the month of May, 1859, was $1.35. 

** On this nth day of May, (1859)," said Coin, turning 
to one of the books of the bound journals, " No. 2 Red. 
wheat is here quoted at $1.38 and $1.40 per bushel. 
Wheat is now 54 cents a bushel ; so this Mr. Wheeler is 
much mistaken when he says that wheat or anything 
else was as low in 1859 as it is now. 

** We will take some other things," continued Coin. 
*' I now hold in my hand the statistical abstract of the 
United States issued in 1892 by the Bureau of Statistics 
of the Treasury Department. Any of you can get it 
by writing to the treasury department. It brings the 
annual average prices down to 1892. 

** On page 341 we see that the average price of cut 
nails in 1859 was, per 100 pounds, $3.86. In 1892, 
$1.83. Now they are about $r.oo. 

" On the same page the average price of pig iron in 



1859 was $23.38 per ton. In 1892, $15.75 ; now it is 
about $12.00. 

**On page 334 we find that the average price for 
1859 of cotton was 12.08 cents per pound. In 1892, 
average price 7.71 cents per pound ; now it is about 7 


**0n page 335 we find the average price for 1859 of 
fine washed clothing, Ohio fleece wool, was 60 cents. 
For 1892, 30 cents. 

*' From this trade journal you will Fee that corn 
in 1859 ^^^^ worth 65 cents. 

^^^ Of THS 


. ^ « , 

ii6 coin's financial school. 

" All other values on an average have declined like 
these I have just read. So you see that prices were not 
as low in 1859, or before the war, as they are now. 

** Now, as to that part of your question as to the low 
price of corn in 1873," said Coin, looking toward Mr. 

" What you say about the price of corn in 1873 is 
true ; but I want to call your attention to the cause of it. 

' ' Corn does not seek distant markets like wheat. 
This is partly on account of its small price per bushel. 
It cannot always vStand the freight. Its use is not so 
general as wheat, and it seeks the home market. 

''On page 215 of the report of the Chicago Board of 
Trade for 1892 you will find that the corn crop of the 
State of Illinois, for the year 1872, which controlled the 
market price for the spring and summer of 1873, was 
217,628,000 bushels; while by this year's report the 
crop for 1893 which controls the present price, was 160,- 
550,470 bushels. The demand for corn now, with nearly 
double our population, is greater than it was in 1873, 
and yet in 1873 the corn crop was fifty-seven million 
bushels greater in this state than it was last year. 
This over-production in 1872 accounts for its low price 
in 1873. The gold standard accounts for its low price 


Mr. H. F. Eames, president of the Commercial Na- 
tional Bank, put this question to Coin : 

"Suppose values do decline and get on a lower 
plane. Can't the farmer who gets 50 cents for his 
wheat buy as much of this world's goods with that 50 
cents as he formerly could with a dollar? And if this 



IS true, and I think it is, wherein does it make any dif- 
ference ? ' ' 

And he sat down thinking he had accomplished 
what Professor Laughlin, Mr. Gage, Mr. Kirk and a 
dozen others had failed to do, viz., stump the little 

He probably got the cleanest knockout and hardest 
fall of them all. 

Coin turned to one of the boys who had helped to 
measure off the twenty-two feet in the corner and gave 
him some direction. 


The boy went out into the anteroom, and a moment 
later returned, rolling a rubber globe or ball before him 
about half the size of the largest one on the platform. 
The people moving to make way, the lad rolled it to 

ii8 coin's financial school. 

where Coin was standing. The little schoolmaster 
putting his hand on it, said : 

**This ball, as proportioned to the largest one, indi- 
cates the debts of the world, which are, if we include 
debts of all kinds, about 200,000 million of dollars at 
the present time. The total value of all the property 
of the world in 1890 was about 450,000 million. 

*' This value has since been shrinking, and will con- 
tinue to shrink until it is about one-half its present size 
as represented by this largest ball. 

** But this ball that represents debts will not decrease 
any. Its present tendency is to grow larger. 

**When this ball," indicating the one representing 
values of all property, ** has shrunken to half its size, it 
will be about the size of this one representing debts. 

* * The history of nations shows that when the debts 
of a country are two-thirds of the value of all its property, 
disintegration sets in. Strikes — riots — revolution — pro- 
visional governments, as with our neighbors in South 
America at the present time. 

* * When you reduce wheat to 50 cents, and all other 
property accordingly, you don't reduce debts at all. 
You only make it harder to pay them. 

A note executed five years ago which 1,000 bushels 
of wheat would then have paid, now takes about 1,500 
bushels to pay. 

Though we have paid since 1869 about 5,000 millions 
on our public debt in principal and interest, and have re- 
duced the principal from 2,700 million to 1,000 million, it 
will now take as much of our property to pay the 1,000 
million as would have paid the whole 2,700 million in 

'* A farmer may buy calico with his 50-cent wheat 


money at a like cut in values, but he cannot ^et the 
same favor shown him on his debts. 

* * The property of the money lender — notes, bonds and 
mortgages — does not shrink. The mortgage will eat the 
property owner up. 

*' 'Ah!' you may say, 'everybody is not in debt ; 
one-half of the people may be, but let them liquidate and 
start over, then times will be good.' 

' ' But everybody, except the money lender, is in debt. 
Your city is in debt twenty million, and you owe your 
part of it. Your county is in debt. Your state is in 
debt. Your general government is in debt. 

' * You are paying your part of the interest on all that; 
and your taxes in this city at the rate of 8 per cent on 
the assessed valuation is evidence that you are all in 

' ' Those who are personally in debt will only become 
bankrupt the sooner. 

'* The total debts in the United States, national, mu- 
nicipal, state, county, corporate and private, is now esti- 
mated to be about 40,000 million of dollars. 

*' The railroad bonded debt is 5,000 million, or about 
one-eighth of the whole amount. 

'' The interest on 40,000 million, at an average rate 
of 6 per cent per annum, is 2,400 million. Now, when 
you consider that the total money supply of the country 
is only about 1,600 million, and that interest money is 
going principally to the East, you can see what a great 
sponge this debt is, to come West twice a year and soak 
up 3'our money and take it away. 

' ' When your neighbor has sent all of his money off 
he has none left to spend with you. 

*' There are two ways ordinarily of getting this 
money back that goes East. One is to sell something to 

I20 coin's financial school. 

them at a profit. We are not now doing that. The 
other is to borrow it. So many of our friends have bor- 
rowed, that while they cannot borrow any more, it has 
made it unprofitable for those who can borrow to do so, 
as no business ventures are now profitable. 

** The only money coming back to us at present from 
the East, which first goes there to pay interest, is about 
one hundred and sixty million a year paid by the gov- 
ernment in pensions ; salaries paid to government em- 
ployes, and money received in payment for produce on 
which there is no margin or profit. 

'' On one hand the law of the land says these debts 
must be paid, and there are the courts and sheriffs to en- 
force it. 

** On the other hand, the people cannot pay, as a new 
monetary unit makes it impossible. The law spends its 
force by confiscating the property of the people. The 
people will retaliate >f^ * *. Under the eff*ects of 
this legalized robbery, which has been in operation for 
twenty years, the future of the republic looks serious 
and threatening. 

*' While not directly interested in our neighbor's 
debts, we are indirectly ; and general paralysis may come 
to our business on that account. 

*' In adjusting ourselves to a lower plane of prices, we 
are at once confronted with the fact that debts do not 
depreciate with other property, and that on account of 
its great size it becomes an oppression affecting all, more 
or less, and directly confiscating the property of mil- 

*' To expect these debts to be paid under present con- 
ditions, when it is so far beyond the power of the people 
to pay them, is too much. It is like trying to fit a 6-foot 

coin's I^INANClAt SCHOOt. 


man to a 3-foot coflfin. It will mutilate the remains to 
attempt it. 

'*Many other things do not, also, readily adjust 
themselves to a lower plane of prices. 

* ' Suppose the proposition embraced in the question 
to me was made to the now irritated farmers, and one of 


them was to go forth to test it, and see if he could buy- 
as much of this world's goods with 50 cents as he for- 
merly could with a dollar. 

** We will suppose, before starting, he goes to pay his 
taxes. He will find that his 50-cent wheat will not pay 

122 coin's financiai. schooi.. 

as much as his $1.40 wheat did in 1873. He will find 
his taxes just as much, and it will take all of twice as 
much wheat to pay them as in 1873. 

'' While passing out of the Court House suppose he 
meets a county ofi&cial and should ask him what salary 
was paid to his office in 1873 and now. The answer 
would be the same number of dollars now as in 1873. 
The same is true of city, state and national officers, also 
with the army, navy and officials abroad. The 50-cent 
wheat would only pay about one-third as much in each 
instance. He starts for the depot and to get there he takes 
a street-car. He finds the fare the same as in 1873. He 
gets on a Pullman car to find the cost the same as in 1873. 
He registers at a first-class hotel. He finds the cost about 
the same as in 1873. He sends a telegram, and finds it 
costs the same as in 1873. He gets a, shave with the same 
result. He buys tea and coffi^e, with the same result. He 
gets back home and goes to his bank to borrow money. 
He finds interest, except in cities on first-class loans, about 
as high as in 1873. Should he now meet the man who 
told him that his 50-cent wheat would buy as much of 
this world's goods as it ever did, it might result seriously 
for the other fellow." [Laughter and applause.] 

And with a smile and a graceful bow Coin retired 
from the stage. The lecture was over. It had been full 
of ** meat," and the bulls and bears knew more than they 
did before. If they had learned nothing else than that all 
of the gold and silver in the world could be put in the main 
room of the Chicago Board of Trade their attendance on 
the lecture gave rich returns for the time spent. The 
bears on the Board the next day were more numerous 
than they had been in many months. 





A mother quail with her young quail 
brood had a home in a wheat field. When 
the wheat was ripe and the harvest time 
was come, the little quails suggested to 
their mother that it was time to move. 
While they were discussing it, the owner 
of the field came near, and was heard to 
say to some one with him, that he was 
going to get his neighbors to help him 
harvest. The mother quail said to her 
young^ '*We will not move yet." Sev- 
eral days passed by and the wheat had 
grown very ripe. The quail again heard 
the owner say that he was going after 
some friends over in another neighbor- 
hood, to help him cut the wheat. The 
mother quail said to her young, *'We 
will not move yet. ' ' A few days later, 
when the wheat was so ripe it was falling 
and going to waste, the quails heard the 
farmer say, "I am going to cut the wheat 
myself. ' ' The mother quail then said to 
her young: *'Now we will move. The 
wheat is to be cut." — From an old Scrap 
Book . 


Thk Sixth Day. 

The manner in which the little lecturer had handled 
his subject on the fifth day had greatly enhanced his 
popularity. What he had said, had been in the nature of 
a revelation to nearly all that heard it, and his grouping 
of facts had made a profound impression. 

What created the most comment, was his statement 
as to the space in which all the gold and silver of the 
world could be placed. In all the hotel lobbies it was 
the subject of conversation. The bare statement that 
all the gold in the world could be put in a cube of 22 
feet appeared ridiculous — absurd. 

Few that had entertained the single gold standard 
view of the monetary question were willing to believe it. 
They argued that it was impossible ; that the business of 
the world could not be transacted on such an insignifi- 
cant amount of property for primary money. They said, 
" Wait till the morning papers come out; the Tribune 
would puncture it, the Inter Ocean, Herald, in fact, all of 
the papers would either admit it by their silence, contra- 
dict it or give the facts. ' ' 

At the Grand Pacific Hotel the cashier was kept 
busy answering requests to see a twenty-dollar gold piece. 
They wanted to measure it — to get its diameter and 


thickness. As none was to be had, they had to content 
themselves with measuring up silver dollars and figuring 
out how much space all the silver in the world would 
occupy. This resulted in confirming Coin's statement. 

Mr. George Sengel, a prominent citizen of Fort Smith, 
Arkansas, while discussing the subject with a large party 
in the rotunda of the Palmer House, stood up in a chair 
and addressed the crowd, saying : 

** Gentlemen, I have just been up in Coin's room 
and examined the government reports as to the amount 
of gold and silver in the world, and have made the cal- 
culation myself as to the quantity of it, and I find that 
the statements made are true. All the gold and silver 
in the world obtainable for money can be put in the 
office of this hotel, and all the gold can be put in this 
office and not materially interfere with the comfort of 
the guests of the house. 

" I have been until to-day in favor of a single 
gold standard, but hard times, and this fact that all the 
gold in the world available for money can be put in a 
space of twenty-two feet each way, has knocked it out 
of me. Count on me and old Arkansas for bimetallism.'* 

Mr. Sengel' s speech was greeted with applause, and 
he was followed by others expressing similar views. 

The morning papers gave full reports of the previous 
day's lecture. All editorially confirmed Coin's state- 
ment as to the quantity of gold and silver in the world, 
and the space it would occupy, except the Herald and 
Tribune ; they were silent on the subject. 

It was generally known that Coin would discuss in- 
dependent action of the United States on the last day, 
and from the number that tried to gain admission, a hall 
many times as large could have been easily filled. 

At the hour for opening the hall large crowds sur- 

coin's financial schooi.. 


A brutal assault is made by a ruffiau upon " Prosperity," a 
beautiful woman, in the sight of a prisoner, who trys to break 
Xiis chains that he may go to her rescue. 



rounded the entrance to the Art Institute, and the corri- 
dors were filled with people. In the large hall where 
the lectures were delivered the walls had been decorated 
with the American colors. This had been seen to by a 
committee of bimetallists ; they had given special atten- 
tion to the decorations around the platform, and though 
assuming many forms, each piece had been made from 
United States' flags. The scene presented was striking 
and patriotic. 

When the doors were opened the hall was soon filled 
and thousands were turned away. 

Coin was escorted by a committee of bimetallists in 
carriages from his hotel to the Art .Institute, each 
carriage used by the committee being draped in the 
American colors. It was the first demonstration of the 
kind made in honor of the little financier of the people, 
since the lectures had begun. 

The evidences of his popularity were now to be seen 
on every hand. Many, however, had reserved their 
judgment to hear from him on the United States taking 
independent action, and all were anxious to listen to 
what he would say on that subject. 

His appearance upon the platform was the signal for 
an ovation. He had grown immensely popular in those 
last five days. 

He laid his silk hat on the table, and at once stepped 
to the middle of the platform. He raised his eyes to the 
audience ; slowly turned his head to the right and left, 
and looked into the sea of faces that confronted him. 


** In the midst of plenty, we are in want," he began. 

*' Helpless children and the best womanhood and 

manhood of America appeal to us for release from a 

coin's financial school. 


bondage that is destructive of life and liberty. All the 
nations of the Western Hemisphere turn to their great 
sister republic for assistance in the emancipation of the 
people of at least one-half the world. 

*' The Orient, with its teeming millions of people, and 
France, the cradle of science and liberty in Europe, 
look to the United States to lead in the struggle to 


'in the midst of plenty we are in want." 

roll back the accumulated disasters of the last twenty- 
one years. What shall our answer be ? [Applause.] 

** If it is claimed we must adopt for our money the 
metal England selects, and can have no independent 
choice in the matter, let us make the tesLa»^58$^^oaiiLif 


Of THl 


132 coin's financial SCHOOt. 

it is true. It is not American to give up without try- 
ing. If it is true, let us attach England to the United 
States and blot her name out from among the nations 
of the earth, [Applause.] 

*'Awar with England would be the most popular 
ever waged on the face of the earth. [Applause.] If 
it is true that she can dictate the money of the world, 
and thereby create world-wide misery, it would be the 
most just war ever waged by man. [Applause.] 

*' But fortunately this is not necessary. Those who 
would have you think that we must wait for England, 
either have not studied this subject, or have the same 
interest in continuing the present conditions as England. 
It is a vain hope to expect her voluntarily to consent. 
England is the creditor nation of the globe, and collects 
hundreds of millions of dollars in interest annually in 
gold from the rest of the world. We are paying her two 
hundred millions yearly in interest. She demands it in 
gold ; the contracts call for it in gold. Do you expect 
her to voluntarily release any part of it ? It has a pur- 
chasing power twice what a bimetallic currency would 
have. She knows it. 

**The men that control the legislation of England 
are citizens of that country with fixed incomes. They 
are interest gatherers to the amount annually of over 
one thousand millions of dollars. The men over there 
holding bimetallic conventions, and passing resolutions, 
have not one-fifth the influence with the law-making 
power that the bimetallists in the United States have 
with our Congress and President. No ; nothing is to be 
expected from England. 

** Whenever property interests and humanity have 
come in conflict, England has ever been the enemy of 
human liberty. All reforms with those so unfortunate as 


to be in her power have been won with the sword. She 
yields only to force. [Applause.] 

*' The money lenders in the United States, who own 
substantially all of our money, have a selfish interest in 
maintaining the gold standard. They, too, will not yield. 
They believe that if the gold standard can survive for 
a few years longer, the people will get used to it — get 
used to their poverty — and quietly submit. 

"To that end they organize international bimetallic 
committees and say, ' Wait on England, she will be forced 
to give us bimetallism.' Vain hope ! Deception on this 
subject has been practiced long enough upon a patient 
and outraged people. 

''With silver remonetized, and gold at a premium, 
not one-tenth the hardships could result that now afflict 
us. Why ? First : it would double the value of all prop- 
erty. Second: only 4 per cent of the business of the 
people of this nation is carried on with foreign coun- 
tries ; and a part of this 4 per cent would be trans- 
actions with silver using nations; while 96 per cent 
of the business of our people is domestic transactions. 
Home business. Is it not better to legislate in the 
interest of 96 per cent of our business, than the remain- 
ing 4 per cent ? 

"We now face the situation and must act. We are 
similarly situated to the Rocky Mountain bear hunter, 
when meeting a bear in a level trail on a mountain side, 
with a clifi*on the one hand and a perpendicular precipice 
on the other. This Rocky Mountain bear hunter could 
neither dodge to the right or left, and there was no friendly 
tree near, his only weapon his knife, and no alternative 
but to fight. " It was to be the bear fight of his life. 
He knelt down and made this prayer, while the bear 
looked on with curiosity : 


coin's financial school. 


* ' Oh Lord ! I am now forty years of 
age, and I never prayed to Thee before 
in all my life. I am not like the Meth- 
odist and Baptist, who are constantly 
worrying Thee with all their little 
cares. All I have to say is, if you are 
not on my side don't be on the bear's 
side, but lay low and say nothing, 
and see the biggest bear fight you ever 
read about. ' ' [Great laughter. ] 


*' In the impending struggle for the mastery of the 
commerce of the world, the financial combat between 
England and the United States cannot be avoided if we 
are to retain our self-respect, and our people their free- 
dom and prosperity. [Applause.] 

' ' The gold standard will give England the commerce 
and wealth of the world. The bimetallic standard will 
make the United States the most prosperous nation on 
the globe. [Applause.] 

*'To avoid the struggle means a surrender to Eng- 
land. It means more — it means a tomb raised to the 
memory of the republic. Delay is dangerous. At any 
moment an internecine war may break out among us. 
Wrongs and outrages will not be continuously endured. 
The people will strike at the laws that inflict them. 

* ' To wait on England is purile and unnecessary. 
Her interests are not our interests. * But,' you ask me, 
* how are we to do it ? ' It will work itself. We have 
been frightened at a shadow. We have been as much 
deceived in this respect as we have about other matters 
connected with this subject. 

''Free coinage by the United States will at once 
establish a parity between the two metals. Any nation 
that is big enough to take all the silver in the world, and 
give back merchandise and products in payment for it, 
will at once establish the parity between it and gold. 

''France and the Latin Union, with less population 
and wealth than we have, maintained a premium on sil- 
ver for forty years by opening their mints to its free 
coinage, and at a ratio of 15 }4 to i, while ours was 
16 to I. 

" If France could lift the commercial value of silver 
above that fixed by the other nations of the world, and 

136 coin's FINANCIAIv schooi.. 

at a premium over gold, the United States can hold its 
commercial value at a par with gold. 

" But we alone would not have to maintain it. We 
know now that Mexico, South and Central America, the 
Asiatic governments and France would be with us from 
the start. The nations that would immediately support 
bimetallism are stronger in 1894, ^^^^ those were in 
1873 that maintained it then. Of all those that we had 
then, we would start with only the loss of Germany and 
Austria, and a few lesser principalities." [Applause.] 

Mr. Lyman Gage, president of the First National 
Bank, who put questions to Coin on the second day of 
the school, now interrupted the speaker. 

"Suppose," said Mr. Gage, ''that after all, the 
independent action of the United States did not establish 
the parity between the two metals ? ' ' 

" Why hesitate at the supposition of an improbabil- 
ity," replied Coin. Continuing he said : 

* * To suppose that such will be the case is to borrow 
trouble that is not at all likely to occur. But if it does, 
we are more fruitful of resources than are the obstacles 
insurmountable that may be thrown in our way. 

** To begin with, we would want an administration at 
Washington that is friendly to republican institutions. 

''The government should exercise its prerogative as 
of old to pay in either metal it sees fit. Gold must be 
given to understand that it is not indispensable to the 
currency of the country. This will depreciate its im- 
portance. The bankers of the great money centers must 
be given to understand that they must take their hands 
off the throat of the government. That they cannot 
dictate to the government what is money. The govern- 
ment will dictate that to them. The selfishness of the 
few must submit to the interests of the many. We will 



then be better able to dictate to other governments 
what the United States wants as she leads in the column 
of bimetallic nations. 

* * The unlimited demand for silver, and its free use by 
the government, will appreciate its value. To that ex- 
tent the disuse of gold will depreciate its value. If 


necessary, fire a man bodily into the street to teach him 
his place. Gold needs that lesson. 

** With both metals as primary mone}^, property ad 
vances to bimetallic values, whether gold goes to a 
premium or not. Gold may go out of circulation, but 



its doing so does not disturb the practical effect of bi- 
metallic prices. 

*' There should be a law making it a forfeiture of the 
debt to discriminate in favor of one form of national cur- 
rency as against another. Our national currency should 
be as sacred as our national flag. The present law allow- 
ing gold to be named in the bond is statutory treason. 
The government would stand ready to redeem its paper 
and token money in primary money on demand, and 
should not allow any discrimination that would forestall 
its action or corrupt its financial system. 

"With an administration in sympathy with bimetal- 
lism there would be no trouble as to the parity of the two 
metals. It could throw its great influence in favor of ' 
the weaker of the two metals if necessary in sustaining 
that parity.'* 

*' But,'* said Mr. Gage, *' if after a fair trial gold con- 
tinued at a premium, what remedy would you suggest? 

**Put less gold in the gold dollar," replied Coin.' 
** Bring the weight of the gold dollar down till they are 
on a parity.'* [Applause.] * 

Mr. Gage took his seat, but when Coin was about to 
resume he again interrupted the little speaker. 

*' Suppose " said Mr. Gage, "the free coinage of sil- 
ver by the United States should flood us with silver? 
What would we do with it ? " 

" Put it in the pockets of the people" replied Coin. 
** Put it to work ; put it in the channels of trade. If we 
desired to store it, we could put it all in your bank. 

"But it would drive out our gold?" asserted Mr. 

"Our gold is leaving us now," replied Coin. 
"Could it leave us any faster? It is now going at 


the rate of from $500,000 to $2,ooo,oocr"Saay. Is 
a drought of gold to be more desired than a flood of 
silver? It is only a question of time under a gold sys- 
tem when England will take it all. The way to keep 
our gold is to remonetize silver. Remonetization will 
give us higher prices for our exports, and will make 
a balance of trade in our favor large enough to bring us 
English gold and silver. 

"Now, Mr. Gage," said Coin, **may I ask you a 
question ?" 

** Certainly," replied Mr. Gage. 

** Is it not a fact," said Coin, *' that no estimate has 
been placed on American (United States) bonds held in 
Europe at less than 5,000 million dollars? " 

*' Yes, I believe that is true," answered Mr. Gage. 

''And is not the largest part of this sum owned in 
England? " continued Coin. 

" I suppose it is," answered Mr. Gage. 

** And has not," said Coin *' the large shipments of 
gold to England recently given rise to the opinion in 
commercial circles that our bonds are held there to a 
larger amount than 5,000 million dollars. 

'* Yes," said Mr. Gage. 

**Does not these securities," Coin went on, "consist 
largely of railroad, municipal and other bonds drawing 
from 4 to 6 per cent interest ? ' ' 

*' I suppose so," assented the banker. 

"Then would you not," said Coin, "consider 4 per 
cent as a fair average interest on our bonds held in Eng- 
land ? " 

" Yes, I should think so," replied Mr. Gage. 

" Mr. Gage" said Coin, "4 per cent on 5,000 mil- 
lion dollars is 200 million dollars. It has all been made 
payable in gold. The total production of gold in the 


world annually is about 165 millions, and of this the 
United States produces annually about 35 millions. 
Now unless the balance of trade is increased largely, 
liow may we expect to pay this 200 millions in gold 
annually? " 

* * The selling of more bonds in England will get us 
gold with which to pay it," replied the eminent financier. 

•* But does not that increase the annual interest to be 
paid? " asked Coin. 

** Yes," said Mr. Gage, reluctantly. 

''And where will it end ? " continued Coin. 

**I don't know," hesitatingly replied Mr. Gage, and 
with bewilderment in his face he resumed his seat. 

Coin now addressed himself to the audience, that 
showed evident signs of pleasure and satisfaction with 
the dialogue that had just taken place. 

** We have put our heads in the mouth of the English 
lion, and the question now is how to get it out. I don't 
like Mr. Gage's plan. [Applause.] 

*' His plan consists in putting our heads farther in. 

*' It is the same plan the bankers have adopted for 
the government to get gold. [Applause.] It will all 
end, if the present policy is continued, in England own- 
ing us body and soul. She is making a peaceable con- 
quest of the United States. What she failed to do with 
shot and shell in the eighteenth century, she is doing 
with the gold standard in the nineteenth century. [Ap- 
plause.] The conservative monied interest furnished 
the tory friends of England then, and it furnishes her 
friends now. [Applause.] The business men of New 
York City passed strong resolutions against the Declara- 
tion of Independence in 1776, and they are passing 
strong resolutions against an American policy now." 

coin's FlNANCtAt ^Ctt66t. i4l 

''The objection to independent bimetallism is that 
the parity between the two metals cannot be maintained 
at our ratio of 1 6 to i. That is — the gold (23.2 grains) 
in the gold dollar will be worth more than the silver 
(371/4^ grains) in the silver dollar. We have twice 
changed the quantity of gold in the gold dollar ; each 
time making it less. If the commercial value of 23.2 
grains of gold is more than the commercial value of 371^ 
grains of silver, then reduce it to 22, 21, 20 grains t)r less 
if necessary to put the two at a ratio, where the practi- 
cal eflfect of free coinage, when once set to working again, 
will demonstrate that the ratio is at its natural point, 
and parity easily obtained. Reducing the gold in the 
gold dollar would leave gold for more dollars, and this 
would assist in establishing rising prices as it would 
multiply the number of dollars. The weight of the sil- 
ver dollar should not be changed. Its integrity should 
be preserved as originally fixed. 

" There can be no objection to this plan, for as we 
have seen the parity of the two metals was maintained for 
hundreds of years. The bimetallists do not believe that 
the ratio has much influence. They believe that the in- 
fluence of unlimited free coinage is so great in establish- 
ing the commercial parity of the two metals, that any 
ratio near the natural ratio of i to 15^ will give satis- 

'* In this controversy, one point should never be lost 
sight of, and that is, that higher ^vlcQS—bimetaHic 
prices — will come with remonetization of silver, even 
though gold goes to a premium. 

" It is a fixed law in the science of money that when 
both metals are primary money — whether at the time seek- 
ing the mints or not, and whether in circulation or not — bi- 
metallic prices prevail. 

14^ COIN^S FlNA!7ClAt SCfiOOt. 

Mr. P. A. H. Franklin, a prominent bimetallist of Chi- 
cago, wanted to know of Coin, in case it was necessary 
or desirable, if there were any practical method to force 
England to adopt bimetallism ? 

Coin's reply was: "Yes. It is not probable that 
such an emergency can arise ; but if it does all we would 
have to do would be to put an excessive tariff on all im- 
ports coming from her, and all other countries having a 
gold standard, until they adopted a bimetallic system 
with the same ratio as ours. 

** England could not afford to stay out of our market-; 
while France was enjoying them. The English people 
would raise a clamor that would soon lead to bimetal- 
lism. If such a course on our part conflicts with treat- 
ies — treaties should be broken. When humanity, or the 
life of a nation, is involved, all treaties are at an end. 

"If England wages a war on humanity, the United 
States should declare an industrial war on England. 

'* England demonetized silver in 1816, and yet from 
that period to 1873 the parity of the two metals was 
not affected ; we did not need her then, and we do not 
need her now. 

" When the nations giving importance to silver, are 
as numerous and as strong as those giving importance to 
gold, a parity is naturally produced. 

"The farmer in Mexico sells his bushel of wheat for 
one dollar. The farmer in United States sells his bushel 
of wheat for 50 cents. The former is proven by the 
history of the world to be an equitable price. The latter 
is writing its history, in letters of blood, on the appall- 
ing cloud of debt that is sweeping with ruin and desola- 
tion over the farmers of this country. [Applause.] 
What is said of wheat may be said of all our property. 


^* When it is considered that we are giving two dol- 
lars worth of property now, in payment for one dollar in 
gold, you will realize that we are now paying loo per 
cent premium on gold. [Applause.] 

* * And this applies not only to our foreign business, 
but to our home business. 

**With silver remonetized, and a just and equit- 
able standard of values, we can, if necessary, by act of 
Congress, reduce the number of grains in a gold dollar 
till it is of the same value as the silver dollar. [Applause.] 
We can legislate the premium out of gold. [Applause.] 
Who will say that this is not an effective remedy ? I 
pause for a reply ! ' ' 

Coin waited for a reply. No one answering him, he 
continued : 

' ' Until an answer that will commend itself to an 
unbiased mind is given to this remedy, that guarantees 
a parity between the metals, write upon the character 
of every * international bimetallist ' the words * gold 
monometallist,' " 

Pausing for a moment, as if still waiting for his posi- 
tion to be attacked, he proceeded : 

'' Give the people back their favored primary money ! 
Give us two arms with which to transact business ! Sil- 
ver the right arm and gold the left arm ! Silver the 
money of the people, and gold the money of the rich. 

''Stop this legalized robbery, that is transferring the 
property of the debtors to the possession of the credit- 
ors ! 

** Citizens ! the integrity of the government has been 
violated. A Financial Trust has control of your money, 
and with it, is robbing you of your property. Vam-. 
pires feed upon your commercial blood. The money in 
the banks is subject to the check of the money lenders. 



They expect you to quietly submit, and leave your fel- 
low citizens at their mercy. Through the instrumental- 
ity of law they have committed a crime that overshadows 
all other crimes. And yet they appeal to law for their 
protection. If the starving workingman commits the 
crime of trespass, they appeal to the law they have con- 
taminated, for his punishment. Drive these money- 


changers from your temples. IvCt them discover by your 
aspect, their masters— the people. ' ' [Applause.] 

**The United States commands the situation, and can 
dictate bimetallism to the world at the ratio she is in- 
clined to fix. 

coin's financiai. scHOOt. 145 

" Our foreign ministers sailing out of the New York 
harbor past the statue of "Liberty Enlightening the 
World " should go with instructions to educate the na- 
tions of the earth upon the American Financial Policy. 
We should negative the self-interested influence of Eng- 
land, and speak for industrial prosperity. 

*' We are now the ally of England in the most cruel 
and unjust persecution against the weak and defenseless 
people of the world that was ever waged by tyrants since 
the dawn of history. [Applause.] 

* * Our people are losing each year hundreds of mil- 
lions of dollars; incalculable suffering exists thoughout 
the land ; we have begun the work of cutting each 
others throats ; poor men crazed with hunger are daily 
shot down by the ofiicers of the law ; want, distress and 
anxiety pervades the entire Union. 

** If we are to act let us act quickly. 
*' It has been truthfully said : 

* * ' It is at once the result and security of oppression 
that its victim soon becomes incapable of resistance. 
Submission to its first encroachments is followed by the 
fatal lethargy that destroys every noble ambition, and 
converts the people into cowardly poltroons and fawning 
sycophants, who hug their chains and lick the hand that 
smites them ! ' 

** Oppression now seeks to enslave this fair land. Its 
name is greed. Surrounded by the comforts of life, it is 
unconscious of the condition of others. Despotism, 
whether in Russia marching its helpless victims to an 
eternal night of sorrow, or in Ireland where its humiliat- 
ing influences are ever before the human eye, or else- 
where ; it is the same. 

**It is already with us. It has come in the same 
form that it has come everywhere — by regarding the 

146 coin's financial SCHOOIv. 

interests of property as paramount to the interests of hu- 
manity. That influence extends from the highest to the 
lowest. The deputy sheriff regards the $4 a day he gets 
as more important to him than the life or cause of the 
workmen he shoots down. 

* * The Pullman Palace Car Company recently reduced 
the already low wages of its employes 33^ per cent. 
Unable to make a living, they laid down their tools. A 
few days later the company declared a quarterly dividend 
of 2 per cent on watered capital of $30,000,000. This 
quarterly dividend was $600,000. 

"Had this company sent for the committee of the 
workmen and said, * We were about to declare our regu- 
lar quarterly dividend of 2 per cent ; it amounts to 
$600,000 ; we have concluded to make it 1% per cent; 
this will give us $475,000 for three months, or one quar- 
ter's profits, and we are going to use the other $125,000 
to put back the wages of the men. There would have 
been no strike. The men would have hailed it as gen- 
erosity, and the hearts of 4,000 workmen would have 
been made glad. 

**It was not done. It was not to be thought of. 
These stockholders living in comfort with all their wants 
provided for, think more of their property interests than 
they do of humanity, and will see men starve or reduced 
to the condition of serfs rather than concede an equitable 
distribution of the profits of their business. 

**This has occurred here in the city of your homes ; 
in the World's Fair city ; a city supposed to be as patri- 
otic as any we have ; if this is human nature here, what 
do you expect from the men in England who hold our 
bonds, notes and mortgages payable in gold. 

*'We are forced to take independent action. To 
hesitate is cowardly ! Shall we wait while the cry of 

coin's financiaIv school. 147 

the helpless is heard on every hand? Shall we wait 
while our institutions are crumbling ?" (Cries of " No 
—no— no!") 

* ' This is a struggle for humanity. For our homes aiid 
firesides. For the purity and integrity of our govern- 

*' That all the people of this country sufficiently intel- 
ligent to vote cannot understand that the reduction of 
our primary money to one half its former quantity reduces 
the value of property proportionately, is one of the inex- 
plainable phenomena in human history. 

** Those who do understand it should go among the 
people and awake them to the situation of peril, in which 
they are placed. Awake them as you would with 
startling cries at the coming of flood and fires. 

" Arouse them as did Paul Revere as he rode through 
the streets shouting : * The British are on our shores.' 

*' To let England dictate to us was not once the spirit 
of Americans. 

" When Benjamin Franklin was minister to England 
he attended a banquet in London, at which, toasts were 
responded to by the Premier of England, and the ministers 
of France and the United States. The toast in each in- 
stance was the government represented by the official 

"The toast to England came first and was responded 
to by the Premier. He was eloquent in praise of his 
country, and at the close of his speech took up his wine- 
glass and said, ' Now drink with me again to England, 
the Sun that gives light to the world.' 

*' The toast to France came next, and the French 
minister did great justice to his subject. Imitating the 
English Premier he closed his address by lifting his wine- 
glass high, and saying, ' Now drink again with me to 

148 coin's financial school. 

France, the Moon that controls the tides of the world.' 

** As Mr. Franklin arose to respond to the toast — the 
Uyiited States— ^W eyes were upon him. The French 
minister had taken up the gage thrown down by the 
Premier of England and had responded fittingly as to the 
position of France among the nations of the earth. 
What would Mr. Franklin say ? Would he properly 
acquit himself for the United States ? 

'* At the close of an able response, suitable to such an 
occasion, Mr. Franklin placed his hand on his wine-glass, 
and lifting it to a level with his eyes, said . * Now drink 
with me again to the United States, the Joshua that 
commanded the sun and moon to stand still, and they 
stood still.' [Applause.] 

** Had Mr. Franklin had the ears of all the people of 
the United States on that occasion, one universal acclaim 
would have resounded throughout this land. 

" If we had an administration and Congress now, 
that would say to England ' Stajid still ' — one glad shout 
would be heard in this country from Sea to Sea and 
Lakes to Gulf, proclaiming the second independence of 
the United States." [Long continued applause.] 

Coin had finished. The audience had risen to its 
feet, and the applause was tumultuous and continued. 
Those on the stage were shaking the little statesman's 
hands, and many others were crowding around the plat- 

As the tumult subsided a fine-looking gentleman 
appeared on the platform with his hands raised to com- 
mand attention. It was Mr. J. L. Caldwell, president 
of the First National Bank of Huntington, West Vir- 
ginia. As soon as he had secured attention he said : 

** I am the president of a national bank, and I want 
to first say to you people that all national bankers do not 



regard selfish personal interest, as paramount to love of 
country and the interests of the whole people. 

'' A few of us have stood out against this gold stand- 
ard system, and are in favor of immediate free coinage, 
16 to I or 15^ to I, independent of England. [Applause.] 

*^ I now propose three cheers for Coin." 

They were given with a will. The hip! hip! hur- 
rahs! were heard through the open windows for two 
squares away. 

Thus ended the ** school." Chicago has had its les- 
son on bimetallism. 

How will this contest end ? 

No one can tell. In the struggle of might against 
right, the former has generally triumphed. 

Will It win in the United States ? 


It will be noticed that during the lectures, Coin was 
never asked to answer the proposition of '' over-produc- 
tion y His attention was afterward called to this, and he 
replied: That he -was not surprised; that under-produc- 
tion was now conceeded by all who had investigated it, 
and the newspapers seldom mentioned it. That over-pro- 
duction could not be claimed so long as tens of thousands 
were going hungry; and that the only over-production 
admitted by all, was millionaires. 

Coin used in his lectures the phrase "i to i6" in 
speaking of ratio. This was used for convenience. The 
exact ratio is i to 15.98, but, as by common usage, the 
term i to 16 is used, the correct figures i to 15.98 would 
have been confusing. 

The assessed valuation of all the property in the United 
States, as given by Census Bulletin No. 192, issued June 
4, 1892, is $24,651,585,465. 

In giving the debts of the United States, public, cor- 
porate and private, Coin has used in part the report of the 
Census Bureau, as far as completed, and has added to it 
an estimated amount for maritime debts, accounts, pawn 
shops, private debts not on record, rentals, and other 
debts due on contracts, none of which is included in the 

census report. Among the larger items of our debts, as 
far as officially reported, are the following: 
National debt of the United States (U. 

S. Census, 1890 $ 891,960,104 

State and Municipal debt (U. S. Census, 

1890) 1,135,210,442 

Railway bonds on 171,866 miles railway, 

1892 (Poor's Manual, '93) 5,463,611,204 

The average farm and home debt shown 

by tabulation of partial returns from 

counties distributed throughout the 

Union, is $1,288 for farm and $924 for 

homes. If this average holds good for 

the United States, there is an existing 

debt in force, on the farms and homes 

of the United States occupied by owner 

(R. B. Porter, Supt. nth Census, in 

North American Review, Vol. 153, 

page 618) of. 2,500,000,000 

Mortgaged Indebtedness of Business 

Realty, Street Railways, Manufactories 

and Business enterprise (estimated from 

partial reports of i ith Census) 5,000,000,000 

lyoans from 3,773 National Banks (Sta- 
tistical Abstracts of the United States) 2, 153,769,806 
Loans from 5,579 State, Saving, Stock 

and Private Banks and Trust Com- 
panies (Statistical Abstracts of the 

United States) 2,201,764,292 

If the same progressive ratio of increase is added to 
these figures that maintained from 1880 to 1890, over 
5,000 million should now be added to the items above 

Taking the figures used by Coin in the Fifth Chap- 
ter, we find that the actual ratio between the two metals 
is I to 15^. 

The following is the calculation : 


No. cubic feet gold in the world, 

No. ounces in a cubic foot gold, 

No. cubic feet silver in the world, 

No. ounces in a cubic foot silver, 





I 128340 

I I 28340 


2954558290 is% 

188651368 L 

10680446 10 


..- — 2/ 

18865 1368 

The ratio of the two metals as they exist in the world available 
for money is i to 15%. 

By making gold the only primary money, the natural result is 
to depress the commercial value of silver ; this depression now 
marks a commercial ratio between the two metals of i to 33 ; 
sooner or later, on account of the large gold interest-bearing debt 
in this country, money will be concentrated in the money centers ; 
values of all property will be further depressed, until the commer- 
cial ratio between gold and silver can be expected to go to i to 40 
or more. 

On page i8, Coin refers to the published report of 
the Director of the Mint as giving the world's production 
of silver for 1893 as $143,096,239. This was the report 
as published in the newspapers at the time. Since then, 
however, the report of the Director of the Mint as now 
published gives the amount as $208,371,100. From the 
fact that so much hostility and prejudice has been shown 
by Mr. Cleveland's administration to silver, and consid- 
ering the unreliable sources from which this information 
is frequently obtained, there is some doubt as to the 
fairness of the last figures given. This doubt is further 
increased when it is considered that Mr. Cleveland has 
set the example to his subordinates to disregard a faith- 
ful observance of laws and customs, and has exhibited a 
zealous desire to make everything bend to his will. We 
refer to his having the coinage of silver stopped before 
the repeal of that law ; to his appointment of a minister 
plenipotentiary to Hawaii without the consent of the 
Senate then in session ; his infamous use of patronage 
with which to buy the votes of congressmen in the 
passage of the bill repealing the silver purchase act, and 
other acts now fresh in the mind of the reader. Any 
figures now given out on silver by his administration 
may be regarded as unreliable. There is not in the 
world to-day a more avowed and zealog.5~-gald mono- 

metallist than Mr. Cleveland. 




Crime of 1873 • 15,112 

Commercial Value of Gold and Silver, how affected by Free 

Coinage 27 to 38 

Credit money 49 to 64 

Checks, effect of in diminishing quantity of money needed .... 54 

Cotton, its decline since 1873 108 

Cotton, price of in 1859 • 115 

Coin puts questions to Mr. Gage 139 

Demonetization, effect of 34, 40, 52 

Demonetization, effect of on Silver Standard Countries 88 

Diamond Standard 109 

Debts of the World 116 

Debts of the United States 119 and Appendix 

Debts, interest on, strangling prosperity 116 to 122 

Evans, Mr., how he studied Political Economy 13 

Eustis, P. S., asks a Question 69 

Eames, H. F., President Commercial National Bank asks a 

Question 116 

England, will not consent to Bimetallism, reason 132, 139 

England — how to force her to adopt Bimetallism 142 

Fifty-cent Silver Dollar explained io5 to 1 13 

Franklin, P. A. H. , asks a Question i42 

Gold basis claimed since 1837, answered 9 

Gold never the unit prior to 1873 1 1 

Gold Dollar made smaller in 1834 7, 25 

(And again in 1837) 20 

Gold and Silver, quantities in World compared at different 

periods 32 

Gold, quantity of 39 

Gold and Silver, why adopted as money 46 

Gold Standard Countries all affected by Demonetization 86 

Gold, quantity per capita in the World 98 

Gold, of the World and space it will occupy 99 

Gold, weight per cubic foot 99 

Gold, value per cubic foot 99 

Gold, number cubic feet in the World 100 

Gold, of the World in the Chicago Wheat pit 100 

Gold, its rise in value 107 

Gold Dollar, its increase in size would lower values iii 

Gold, premium now paid for it 143 

Gage, Lyman, President First National Bank asks a Question .25, 136 

Gage, Lyman, makes an admission 38 

Greenback system of money 75 

Hopkins, Mayor of Chicago, asks a Question 89 

Henrotin, Chas., asks a QuCvStion. 113 

Improved Facilities do not account for low prices 84 

Independent free coinage 138 

Kirk, President Exchange National Bank, asks a Question, ... 84 
Kohlsaat, H. H. , asks a Question 85 

Lawson, Victor F. , Jr. , asks a Question 18 

Laughlin, Professor, asks a Question 68 

Latin Union, what Countries Constitute 69 

Medill, Mr. , asks a Question 9 

Montgomery, J. A., Supt. of Mails, asks a Question 70 

Money, necessity of 44 

Money, a science 49 to 64 

Money, primary 49 to 64 

Money, credit 49 to 64 

Money, quantity of in United States 53 

Money, based on labor 78 

Money, quantitative theory 95 

Money Lenders, why they favor a Gold Standard 133 

Nails, price of in 1859 ii4 

Parity, how maintained 27 to 38, 135, 143 

Primary money 49 to 64 

Panics, causes producing, explained and illustrated 55 to 64 

Ratio 7, 25 

Ratio, change in 7, 20, 25 

Ratio, compared for two hundred years . • 34 

Ratio, commercial as affected by Demonetization 34, 35 

Ratio, why the change was made in the Gold and not in the 

Silver Dollar 40, 41 

Rozett, Geo. H. , asks a Question 39 

Ridgeley, E. R., asks a Question 75 

Rocky Mountain Bear Hunter ^s Prayer 134 

Scott, Mr., asks a Question 11 

Smith, Wm. Henry, Jr, , asks a Question 20 

Scudder, M. L., Jr., asks a Question. . . 73 

Struckman, President County Commissioners, asks a Question. 80 

Standard silver and gold explained 14 

Silver in circulation prior to 1873 9, 10 

Silver, foreign, made legal tender 9, 10 

Silver, claimed to be so plentiful as to cease to be a precious 

metal, answered 18 

Silver at a premium in 1873 19 

Silver, none of the facts used in arguments against it now, 

existed at the time it w^as Demonetization 19 

Silver, when demonetized, in England, United States, Germany 

and the Latin Union 29 

Silver, price of nineteen years before, and nineteen years after 

Demonetization 31 

Silver and gold, quantities compared at different periods 32 

Silver, quantity of 39? 95? io4 

Silver, why it is not now money 39, 40 

Silver and gold, why adopted as money 46 

Silver, cost of producing 73 

Silver states, not benefited by remonetization, except in com- 
mon w4th the other states 80 

Silver, the most constant standard of values 87 

Silver of the World, space it will occupy 104 

Silver, weight of a cubic foot 104 

Silver, value of a cubic foot 104 

Silver, number cubic feet in the world 104 

Silver, its decline in value since 1873 108 

Tariff, high or low, does not account for present depression .... 85 

Unit 5, 6, 7, II, 12, 14, 16 

Unit, why fixed on silver 8 

Unit, changed to gold in 1873 ^^ 

Walsh, John R., President Chicago National Bank, asks a 

Question 47, 54 

Wheeler, D. H. , asks a Question 53 

Wheat, its decline in value since 1873 108 

Wheat, price of in 1859 114 

Wool, price of in 1859 ^ ^5 

Value, of silver and gold if both were Demonetized 70 

Value, of all property in the World 95 

Value, of all property in United States (Appendix) 


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